BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:40 A.M.) – Two citizens were killed and others were wounded on Thursday, in a clash that took place in Khaldeh, south of the capital Beirut, while the army intervened and managed to arrest a number of its participants.
The Lebanese National News Agency stated that “a problem occurred in the area of Khaldeh between a member of the Arab tribes in the Khaldeh area, and a person of Syrian nationality, which developed into an exchange of fire, which resulted in two deaths and the wounding of 3 others.”
The Lebanese Army said in a tweet, “The area has been cordoned off and patrols have been conducted in the Khaldeh area, and four people have been arrested, including two of Syrian nationality, and the rest of those involved are being pursued to arrest them.”
The agency noted, “The renewed fire after the army’s intervention, as there is intense fire from military weapons, and the situation is still tense against the background of hanging religious banners and party flags, between parties and partisan supporters, and among the ‘Arab’ residents of the region.”
The Media Directorate of the Lebanese Democratic Party announced that the party’s leader, MP Talal Arslan, received a call this evening from the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, during which they discussed the implications of the Khaldeh problem.
Arslan had made a series of contacts with a number of political and partisan parties and security officials to cordon off the problem and cease fire.
According to preliminary reports from the area, clashes took place after a local sheikh, Omar Al-Ghosn, was filmed tearing down Ashura banners between Khaldeh and Na’ameh.
The army has attempted to intervene; however, tensions remain rather high in the area, as Lebanon’s primary motorway along the coast has been obstructed between Beirut and Saida.