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September 30, 2022

At least three killed amid new violence in Beirut

Beirut, where anti-government rage erupted into clashes over the weekend, remained on edge Monday as skirmishes flared and intermittent gunfire pierced the air.

The violence wasn’t limited to Beirut, the CNN reports. By midday Monday, at least two people were killed in the city of Tripoli and one person was killed in Sidon, Lebanon’s official National News Agency reported. The dead included a girl in Tripoli, the Lebanese army said. Roads were still blocked in several Beirut neighborhoods. The Lebanese military called for “citizens from all backgrounds” to clear away from the blocked streets. The army has urged the country’s political leaders to show caution when expressing their opinions, in a bid to calm “unprecedented” tensions, the BBC reports. Amid the unrest, the youth wing of the March 14 coalition called for a peaceful rally in Beirut’s Martyrs’ Square on Monday evening. The March 14 movement is a coalition against the anti-Syrian government that emerged after the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The root of the violence was a car bomb blast Friday — in broad daylight, at one of the capital’s busiest areas — that killed the nation’s intelligence chief, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan. It was the country’s highest-profile assassination in more than seven years.Even though Syria condemned the attack, accusations over who was responsible homed in on the Syrian government. Al-Hassan opposed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and he also was leading an investigation into a Lebanese politician accused of working with two Syrian officials to plan attacks inside Lebanon. Al-Hassan’s funeral was held Sunday, after which protesters took to the streets venting anger at Prime Minister Najib Mitaki for not preventing the attack.

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