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Conflict Incident Report

Berri supporters open fire in Hadath; Bassil supporters bring weapons

Date of incident: 
January 31, 2018
Death toll: 
Number of Injured: 
Actors/Parties Involved: 
Lebanese Military Intelligence
Lebanese Civilians

Supporters of AMAL Movement chief Speaker Nabih Berri opened gunfire shots into the air late on Wednesday in the Beirut's southern suburbs neighborhood of Hadath in protest to the foreign minister's remarks about Berri which compelled an intervention on the Lebanese army's part, the National News Agency reported.

NNA said that AMAL supporters in four-wheel drive vehicles and several motorbikes drove into Hadath square and started shooting gunfire into the air. Supporters of the Free Patriotic Movement of Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil soon came to the scene carrying their own weapons.

The Lebanese army intelligence deployed in the area and controlled the situation, it added.

A security source who spoke on condition of anonymity told al-Joumhouria daily on Thursday: “The matter is very serious and the perpetrators must be punished particularly that what happened in Hadath not only targets the town but also targets Lebanon's stability,” he said.

Municipal chief of Hadath, George Aoun, explained what he saw to the daily, he said: “A group of young men stormed the town hoisting flags of AMAL Movement and started firing gunshots into the air prompting people to be alert. We have made several contacts with AMAL leadership but they disclaimed the incident.”

"The army was deployed in the area, and the young people who came to defend their town retreated after the army intervened and pursued the shooters” he said.

The Lebanese army however has assured that the situation is totally under control.

The unrest and protests of the past two days were sparked by the emergence of a leaked video showing Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil – Aoun's son-in-law – calling Speaker Nabih Berri a "thug" during a closed meeting in Batroun.

The video comes amid an escalating dispute between Berri and Aoun over a decree granting one-year's seniority to a number of army officers.

The footage drew the ire of Berri's aides and political allies, who lashed out at Bassil, as supporters of the Speaker's AMAL Movement blocked roads across the country and encircled the FPM's headquarters in Sin el-Fil.

Primary category: 
Collective Action [inc. protests, solidarity movements...]
Secondary Category: 
Classification of conflict (primary): 
Power & governance conflicts
Violent or non-violent conflicts associated with antagonisms related to internal political tensions between local and/or national groups and parties. These tensions may be encouraged by internal, regional and international parties. Such conflicts are characterized by their defiance and/or opposition to central State power and governance.