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Shia-Sunni brawl leaves two dead, 10 hurt south of Beirut Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Shia-Sunni brawl leaves two dead, 10 hurt south of Beirut

Ten others were wounded in the incident in the coastal town of Khalde. [YouTube]

Date of publication: 28 August, 2020

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The army deployed in Khalde and arrested four suspects by the early evening, but shooting could still be heard intermittently in the area, local media said.
At least two people were killed Thursday in fighting south of the Lebanese capital between supporters of Shia Muslim movement Hezbollah and Sunni residents, a security source said.

Ten others were wounded in the late afternoon incident in the coastal town of Khalde after Hezbollah backers strung banners and flags on electricity poles to mark the religious event of Ashura, the source said.

"A firefight broke out between the two sides, leaving two dead and 10 wounded," said the source.

Ashura marks the seventh-century killing of Imam Hussein in battle by the forces of Caliph Yazid and usually draws thousands of Shia Muslims into the streets.

But this year, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah urged followers to suspend the usual public display of grief due to a spike in novel coronavirus infections in the country.

He asked people instead to mark Ashura by hoisting black flags outside their homes and shops.

But the display of flags on the streets of Khalde angered Sunni Muslim residents.

The army deployed in Khalde and arrested four suspects by the early evening, but shooting could still be heard intermittently in the area, local media said.

Tensions often run high between Sunnis and Shias in Lebanon, a country mired in political and economic crisis since last year.

The situation in Lebanon has been exacerbated by the novel coronavirus pandemic and a monster blast earlier this month that ravaged Beirut's port and devastated swathes of the city.

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