Thursday, May 08, 2008

Breaking News: Rocket-Fire Throughout Beirut

Update 11:15 pm: LBC has been airing calls coming in from people hiding out in civil war-era bomb shelters in the affected areas. Callers are describing hectic conditions in some areas of Beirut where residential buildings continue to be showered by bullet-, mortar-, and rocket-fire. Among those sheltering are civilians who've sustained wounds because of the fighting.

Update 10:20 pm:
Heavy fighting continues throughout mixed Sunni-Shiite neighborhoods of Beirut, and NOWLebanon quotes
"Opposition sources: MP Saad Hariri's suggestions are rejected; Amal and Hezbollah are to expand their control over the streets until the government backs down".

Update 9:20 pm:
Two confirmed dead from fighting in Ras al Nabaa.

Update 9:00 pm:
Cabinet meeting comes to an end and Information Minister, Ghazi al Aridi, informs reporters that Saad Hariri's proposal is reflective of the government's stance, and that it is now up to Hassan Nasrallah to respond. Naharnet also reports that Defense Minister Elias el Murr is on his way to Army Command to "relay Hariri's proposal".

Update 8:58 pm:
NOWLebanon reports mortar fire in Ras al Nabaa. The website is also reporting telephone calls being placed by Walid Jumblatt and Saad Hariri to Amal leader, Nabih Berri.

Update 8:55 pm:
Unconfirmed reports of up to ten dead in Ras al Nabaa as Amal gunmen deploy en force. El Nashra reports that Cairo intends to call for an emergency meeting of Arab League Foreign Ministers to discuss emerging situation in Lebanon.

Update 8:50 pm:
Heavy fighting resumes throughout Beirut's mixed Sunni-Shiite areas as unconfirmed reports of explosions continue to come in.

Click here for more a summary of Hariri's speech which contained a proposal to end the fighting in Beirut.


Update 8:40 pm:
Hariri televised press conference comes to an end.

Click here for more images of today's fighting


Update 8:20 pm:
Live coverage of Hariri speech provided in English by NOWLebanon and Naharnet.

Update 8:10 pm:
Fighting in some areas subsides as Saad el Hariri, leader of the Future Movement, goes live on Lebanese television.

Update 8:00 pm:
Naharnet quotes hospital sources as reporting 2 dead and 5 wounded from sniper fire in Ras al Nabaa neighborhood.

Update 7:58 pm:
LBC reports that Beirut firefighters have come under gunfire after responding to a fire in Cornishe-el Mazraa. The fire to which the firefighters were responding was started by a rocket. The website is also reporting that Dar al Fatwa has come under intense sniper fire, causing Army units deployed in the area to withdraw. Saad el Hariri, leader of the Future Movement, is due on the airways any minute now.

Update 7:55 pm:
LBC has reported heavy gunfire near the Grand Serail while unconfirmed reports continue to come in of gunfire being heard on Hamra street.

Update 7:45 pm:
Unconfirmed reports of gunfire being heard near the Grand Serail, where the Cabinet is holding an emergency meeting, are coming in. LF leader Samir Geagea calls on the Government and the Lebanese Army to declare a State of Emergency!

Update 7:40 pm:
Heavy fighting continues throughout Beirut's mixed Sunni-Shiite neighborhoods and unconfirmed reports of casualties (1 dead, several wounded) are beginning to come in.

Update 7:30 pm:
LF website, and other unconfirmed sources, report heavy infiltration of Hizballah militiamen in the Hamra neighborhood. Residents of the neighborhood report hearing explosions and rocket-fire (possibly from adjacent neighborhoods). LBC reports that the Lebanese Army has reinforced defensive positions in Saadnayel, Bekaa.

Update 7:20 pm:
FutureTV, mouthpiece of the Future Movement and the Hariri family, has declared Beirut to be under siege [refer to map posted earlier]. Meanwhile LBC has reported that the Dahr el Baidar highway leading to Beirut from the Bekaa has been blocked off with burning tires.

Update 7:10 pm:
The Lebanese Government has convened an emergency security session at the Grand Serail.

Update 7:00 pm: Lebanese news website NOWLebanon, and other news services, report the spread of fighting to the Karakon Al-Druze, Al-Zarif, Al-Mulla and Ain Al-Teeni neighborhoods of Beirut. Fighting remains limited to mixed Sunni-Shiite neighborhoods.

Reports coming in from Lebanon indicate intense fighting accompanied by heavy RPG and rocket fire throughout mixed Sunni-Shiite neighborhouds in Beirut, following Hizballah leader, Hassan Nasrallah's speech this evening.

Lebanese news website Naharnet reports heavy fighting in the Ras el Nabaa, Msaitbeh, Cornishe-el Mazraa, and Bshara Khoury neighborhoods, while the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) has reported RPG fire in the Cornishe-el Mazraa neighborhood.

The pro-government Lebanese Forces (LF) website has reports that Hizballah militants have raided several residential buildings in the Ras el Nabaa neighborhood, forcing the residents of those buildings to evacuate. The website also reported that several buildings in the Tareek el Jdeedeh neighborhood have been with rocket fire. Residents in the affected neighborhoods are reportedly gathering in civil-war era bombing shelters while the fighting ensues.

Various news services also report the presence of snipers on rooftops throughout the affected areas.

15 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:19 PM

    Thank you so much for these updates. PLEASE keep them coming!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous7:26 PM

    Unconfirmed reports that the Lebanese Army is leaving the hot areas!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Speculation: The Dahr el Baidar blockade was erected by pro-government partisans to prevent the sending of reinforcements to Hizballah from their positions in the Bekaa

    ReplyDelete
  4. BJ, that is what I herd as well, but I don't think they need to anymore, they control the airport.
    Where is our dear army? what is Michel Suleiman doing to prevent further escalation?
    Tfeh!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous7:44 PM

    Perhaps the government will do something after the meeting? I appreciate these updates. Btw, Lebanon is in the news over here in the States so you'll have folks visiting here who are first time visitors, and to many of them: Lebanon = Hizb'allah, terrorist state, etc.
    I know cause a few years back I was one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous7:50 PM

    Where is the Fucking Lebanese Army? The one that was supposedly called the HERO of Nahr el Bared. It seems to me it is rather 3askar zannouba... It disappeared when it is supposed to ACT

    ReplyDelete
  7. Orange Storange8:18 PM

    مؤتمر صحافي للنائب سعد الحريري
    08may 20:11 الحريري: لن أتحدث في هذا الموضوع مع أي شخص آخر لا في الداخل ولا في الخارج حديثي معك يا سيد حسن وأدعوك إلى فك الحصار عن بيروت وإلى وقفة تاريخية مسؤولة تنقذ لبنان من الجحيم وتنقذ وحدة المسلمين من المصير الأسود
    08may 20:10 الحريري: بيروت مدينة محاصرة وحصار بيروت والفلتان المسلح في بيروت جريمة يجب أن تتوقف فورا يا سيد حسن
    08may 20:10 الحريري: هل يعقل يا سيد حسن أن تعلن المقاومة إفلاسها في شوارع بيروت؟ هل يعقل يا سيد حسن أن تشبّه القتال في بيروت بالقتال في عيتا الشعب وعيناتا؟
    08may 20:10 الحريري: مع الأسف الشديد هو إعلان صريح بإفلاس المقاومة تقوم به جماعات مسلحة تلبس عباءة المقاومة
    08may 20:09 الحريري: أتوجه إلى الأخ السيد حسن نصرالله لأقول له أن ساعة التخلي عن وحدة المسلمين هي ساعة التخلي عن وجود لبنان ما يجري يا سيد حسن في شوارع بيروت ليس ضربا من ضروب الجنون فحسب بل هو الفتنة بعينها
    08may 20:08 الحريري: الأكثرية الساحقة من اللبنانيين تعاملت معه كانه جولة جديدة من الرعب
    08may 20:08 الحريري: العنوان الكبير لمؤتمر السيد نصرالله هو "أنا الدولة والدولة أنا" وهدر دماء وليد جنبلاط

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous9:30 PM

    Jumblatt is live on tv:

    http://web.naharnet.com/default.asp

    http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=41610

    ReplyDelete
  9. BJ, at what point did you realize matters would eventually reach this point?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey Sol2,

    There's a reason why we called last year's January events a "coup rehearsal" or "attempted coup". It was in fact a build up to today.

    Pay close attention to the demands laid out by Nasrallah in his speech. What happened to a unity gov't? To the electoral law? Those were all faux-causes they used in order to mask their real objectives and interests.

    Pay close attention to the issues today, all of the above have been put aside for what? For what we've always said was Hizballah's sole interest: their ability to operate unhindered by the state.

    Once the observer accepts that, today's events become part of the equation.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bad Vilbel11:43 PM

    BJ,

    Well said.
    It always has been about HA getting to keep their mini-state and their weapons. Everything else was just smoke and mirrors. And the biggest idiots in all this are the idiot Aounists who fell for all that hook, line and sinker.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Aoun gave two days' warning - enough to allow Lebanon's leadership to take precautions, not just for themselves but for critical installations as well. For example, Siniora, the ex-finance minister, took great care to guard the central bank. And it seems none of Aoun's followers are standing with Hezb & Amal.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The hero of Nahr el Bared is dead, anonymous... Hizbollah made sure of it before beginning all this. They bombed his car to make sure that not one decent person would be there to stop them when all would begin. BJ is right, everything before this was just preparation, rehearsal and smoke screens.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Momo el wa7sh4:52 PM

    updates : future tv is burning !!!
    those murderers are running amok in the streets !!

    Where is the army ??
    why is the army not moving ??

    HAs Beirut fallen to Hassouna's minions!!!!

    Supporters of Aoun tell ur women to ready the chadores, the age of Ahmadinajad has started !!!

    Beirut has been sullied and raped !!

    ReplyDelete

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