Beirut clashes

The scenes of chaos were witnessed in Beirut this week leading to the death of six people and leaving dozens injured. Lebanon has already been reeling under many crises due to its political instability, economic meltdown and civil anarchy. Lately, the situation turned terrible when a rally organized by the Hezbollah group against the judge leading the probe into last year’s blast in the city’s port, came under fire. So far, the shooters have not been identified yet. Soon after the firing, violent clashes took place on the streets of Beirut. The chaos raised the specter of a return to sectarian violence in a country already embroiled in multiple crises, including one of the world’s worst economic crises of the past 150 years. Tensions over the port blast have contributed to Lebanon’s many troubles, including a currency collapse, hyperinflation, soaring poverty and an energy crisis leading to extended electricity blackouts.

The 2021 Beirut clashes were a series of clashes that erupted in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on 14 October 2021 between the Christian militia Lebanese Forces, as claimed by Hezbollah, and Hezbollah fighters supported by the Amal Movement and the arrest of nine by the Lebanese Armed Forces. The violence erupted during a protest organized by Hezbollah and its allies against the lead judge probing 2020 explosion in the city’s port. Hezbollah group and its allies want the removal of Judge Tarek Bitar whom they accuse of partisan role in the investigation of one of the deadliest blasts happened at the port of Beirut. The probe centers on hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate that were improperly stored at a port warehouse that detonated on Aug. 4, 2020. The blast killed at least 215 people, injured thousands and destroyed parts of nearby neighborhoods.

The fall of a nation into utter chaos can only be lamented. The ultimate sufferers of the strife are the citizens of Lebanon, who are paying a heavy price for this anarchy. Outside help needs to be extended to the citizens who are already beset beset with political divisions and financial woes.