Renewed clashes break out in Beirut

May 9th, 2008 - 7:13 am ICT by admin  

Beirut, May 8 (Xinhua) Fierce gunfire between pro- and anti-government movements broke out Thursday in several districts in Beirut, local New TV reported. Assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades were used during the clashes, which raged in Msaitbeh, Mazraa, Ras Nabaa, Beshara Khoury districts of Beirut, said the report.

The fighting broke out between Hezbollah and majority leader MP Saad Hariri’s Mustaqbal party, it said, adding that sirens of ambulances were heard in the streets of Beirut though there were no official reports of casualties yet.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese cabinet was holding an urgent meeting to discuss the escalating situation.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, who is also one of Lebanese majority leaders, called on the government to declare a state of emergency.

Lebanon is currently facing the most serious political deadlock since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war. For the first time in its history, the presidential seat has been vacant since Nov 24, 2007 when former president Emile Lahoud stepped down.

The presidency deadlock deepened the Lebanese political crisis as fears are mounting that failure in reaching a deal on the presidential candidate could result in more violence in the country.

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