Heavy gunfire echoed through the streets of Lebanon on Thursday after a morning of protests that turned into violent clashes that left at least four dead and more than two dozen injured, authorities said and a video of the scene said.
The Lebanese army has been deployed to try to calm the streets, responding to reports of snipers hiding on rooftops and carrying out shootings. It was not immediately clear what had triggered the clashes.
The violence has focused on two neighborhoods with long-standing tensions – one a stronghold for a Shia Muslim faction and another for a Christian faction, according to a live video of the scene broadcast by Al Jazeera.
The day began with supporters of the Shiite political and militant group Hezbollah and its allies, dressed in black, gathered at the Beirut courthouse. They demanded the removal of Judge Tarek Bitar from the investigation into the huge 2020 explosion in the port of Beirut, accusing him of bias.