Lebanon : 6 dead in deadly shooting during protests

Lebanon : 6 dead in deadly shooting during protests

Lebanon : 6 dead in deadly shooting during protests

Heavy fighting claimed at least six lives and left dozens wounded in Lebanon’s capital Thursday as an escalation of tensions around last year’s massive port-side explosion turned parts of Beirut into a war-zone.

A staffer at the emergency room at al-Sahel hospital said they received three bodies and 15 people who were wounded. One of the dead, a woman, had received a bullet to her head. Two of the injured were in critical condition.

Local residents had to flee their homes and schoolchildren ducked for cover under their desks as men armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers believed to have been members of Shia and Christian militias exchanged fire in the streets.

Lebanon is holding a day of mourning after six people died and dozens were hurt in some of the worst violence for years in the capital, Beirut.

President Michel Aoun vowed that those responsible for Thursday’s gunfire would be held accountable, saying in a televised speech it was “unacceptable that weapons are once more the means of communication among Lebanese rivals”.