Friday, November 24, 2017

Violence in Syria spills over into Lebanon

RECOMMENDED READING


BEIRUT, Lebanon — Gunbattles between Lebanese factions supporting and opposing the Syrian government spread to Beirut on Monday in the most serious outbreak of violence in Lebanon since the Syrian uprising began.

Three people died and about 20 people were injured, Lebanese press reports said.

The fighting overnight in Beirut resulted in the expulsion of a small pro-Syrian faction, the Arab Movement Party, from a largely Sunni Muslim neighborhood in the southern part of the city. The first-floor apartment that housed the party was burned.

But after the military intervened, the neighborhood was calm, attracting mostly gawkers who came to take photographs with their cellphones.

The potential for Syria's violence to infect Lebanon has always been considered dangerous, given that their factional and sectarian differences are similar.

Hezbollah, the heavily armed Shiite Muslim group, supports Syria, as do a smattering of smaller Shiite factions. Most Sunni Muslim organizations would like to see Syria's president, Bashar Assad, overthrown. The overnight street fighting was between factions within the Sunni Muslim community, however, and did not directly involve Hezbollah.

After the Syrian uprising started in March 2011, Prime Minister Najib Mikati of Lebanon proclaimed a policy of "disassociation" from either side in Syria.

The immediate cause of the clashes was the killing of two anti-Syrian Sunni Muslim clerics Sunday by the army at a checkpoint near Tripoli, already a tinderbox this month with a reported nine people killed and dozens wounded.

The events leading to the clerics' shooting remained unclear. After an altercation with a soldier at the checkpoint, they tried to speed away and the soldier opened fire, according to local accounts.

The northern town of Bireh held an angry funeral for Sheik Ahmed Abdul-Wahid, who lived there and was the more senior of the two clerics killed.

Comments

Catholic officials threaten ex-seminarians over sex claims

Catholic officials in Italy have threatened former altar boys of the pope with criminal defamation charges for having publicly accused an older seminarian of sexual misconduct when they lived together at the youth seminary inside the Vatican gardens
Updated: 6 minutes ago

AP Top News at 4:59 a.m. EST

AP Top News at 4:59 a.m. EST
Updated: 6 minutes ago
The Latest: Zimbabwe's military swears loyalty to Mnangagwa

The Latest: Zimbabwe's military swears loyalty to Mnangagwa

The Latest: Zimbabwe's security leaders swear loyalty to new president Mnangagwa
Updated: 6 minutes ago
The Latest: Zimbabwe's military swears loyalty to Mnangagwa

The Latest: Zimbabwe's military swears loyalty to Mnangagwa

The Latest: Zimbabwe's security leaders swear loyalty to new president Mnangagwa
Updated: 6 minutes ago

Developers seek another $72M for Tennessee megasite

Tennessee economic development officials want the state to pour another $72 million into a sprawling site that failed to land a new auto plant planned by a joint venture of Toyota and Mazda
Updated: 8 minutes ago

Chawrasia extends lead by 2 at the Hong Kong Open

S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes after a 4-under 66 in the second round
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Chinese parents demand answers to kindergarten abuse claims

Chinese parents demand answers to kindergarten abuse claims

Chinese authorities are investigating allegations that children attending a kindergarten in Beijing run by a U.S.-listed company have been abused and molested
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Chinese parents demand answers to kindergarten abuse claims

Chinese parents demand answers to kindergarten abuse claims

Chinese authorities are investigating allegations that children attending a kindergarten in Beijing run by a U.S.-listed company have been abused and molested
Updated: 11 minutes ago

Kosovo top opposition leader, 2 other lawmakers arrested

Kosovo police have arrested a top opposition leader and two other lawmakers accused of disrupting the work of the previous parliament with tear gas and violent acts
Updated: 12 minutes ago

Kosovo top opposition leader, 2 other lawmakers arrested

Kosovo police have arrested a top opposition leader and two other lawmakers accused of disrupting the work of the previous parliament with tear gas and violent acts
Updated: 12 minutes ago