Hezbollah-Al-Ahbash clashes shook Beirut |pictures|

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The street clashes last night between Hezbollah and the radical Syrian-backed Al-Ahbash shook the Lebanese capital.

While Iranian and Syrian backed Hezbollah is Shiite , The Syrian backed Al-Ahbash is Sunni. They are known as : The Association of Islamic Charitable Projects (also known as Jam’iyyat al- Mashari’ al-Khayriyya al-Islamiyya) .

There were conflicting reports on how many were killed . Some reports said four people were killed and some said 2 , but several were wounded .

Among the fatalities were Mohammed Fawaz,  a senior Hezbollah official in the area, and Al Ahbash official  Ahmad Fawaz Omeirat, the son of a Beirut Mukhtar.

Other reports also said that Fawaz’s bodyguard Ali Jawad was also killed

This  was the worst clash since May 2008, when Hezbollah gunmen swept through Sunni neighborhoods of Beirut after a government crack down on the group’s telecommunications network.

There were conflicting accounts over how the clashes started

An army spokesman said after the fight erupted .

“A personal fight between a supporter of Hezbollah and another of Al-Ahbash erupted just after 7:00 pm (1600 GMT) in Beirut’s Burj Abi Haidar neighborhood and escalated into a firefight in which a supporter of Hezbollah was killed.” “The army has intervened and is trying to restore calm in the area,” he added.

An-Nahar newspaper on Wednesday quoted Ahbash sources as saying that unknown gunmen kidnapped a man from the Kalash family and his son from their house in Sawwan building in Borj Abi Haidar where fighting was concentrated.

Some reports on Wednesday said fighting erupted over a parking space between Fawaz, the Hezbollah official, and supporters Al-Ahbash near a mosque frequented by the Sunni group.

National News Agency said fighting renewed shortly after midnight, spreading to the nearby neighborhoods of Basta and Nweiri just blocks from downtown Beirut — normally packed with tourists at this time of year.

Al-Ahbash-affiliated Al-Diwan supermarket in Nweiri was set ablaze.

Lebanese troops cordoned off the area. And despite a ceasefire agreement reached during a midnight meeting between army officers, Hezbollah security chief Haj Wafiq Safa and an Ahbash official, the crackle of sniper fire and exploding rocket-propelled grenades could be heard well into the night.

Soldiers manning armored-personnel carriers were seen Wednesday morning positioned on key road intersections along the main Hamra thoroughfare and Corniche Mazraa in apparent effort to prevent clashes from spilling over to other parts of the city.

The fighting took place as Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addressed supporters, calling for increased military assistance for the Lebanese army from Iran and its Arab neighbors. He did not mention the incident during his live speech via a video link.

Defense Minister Elias Murr suspended permits for carrying firearms across all Lebanese areas. It is not clear how much effect such an order will have since Hezbollah is heavily armed and most of these arms are not subject to any permits.

Reactions to the clashes

Lebanese Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani rejected yesterday’s clashes saying: “The state is facing the biggest test to impose security in the Lebanese interior.”

March 14 MP Ammar Houri told Radio Orient: “The clashes between Hezbollah and al-Ahbash is in violation of the Doha settlement that rejects the use of arms.”

March 14 official Fares Souaid told VDL: “Beirut cannot remain in this situation. We know the reasons behind the tension. The state and the army should control the situation.”

March 14 MP Imad al-Hout told VDL: “We call for a weapons-free Beirut and for ISF to take charge.”

March 14 Minister Jean Oghassabian todl VDL: “Yesterday’s clashes have bad repercussions on the security situation in the country. We have already stressed that Beirut should be weapons free.”

An exploded RPG is seen in front of a mosque of Sunni Muslim Association of Islamic Charitable Project known as the Al-Ahbash group after clashes erupted  between them and supporters of the Shiite Hezbollah group, in Bourj Abu Haidar area near Beirut's downtown, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010
An exploded RPG is seen in front of a mosque of Sunni Muslim Association of Islamic Charitable Project known as the Al-Ahbash group after clashes erupted between them and supporters of the Shiite Hezbollah group, in Bourj Abu Haidar area near Beirut's downtown, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010
Lebanese soldiers patrol the area after clashes erupted between supporters of the Shiite Hezbollah and Sunni conservative Al-Ahbash group, in Bourj Abu Haidar area near Beirut's downtown, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010.
Lebanese civil defense workers carry an injured man that was hit in the clashes that erupted between supporters of the Shiite Hezbollah and Sunni conservative Al-Ahbash group, in Bourj Abu Haidar area near Beirut's downtown, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010.
A man, left, checks his shop damaged in the clashes that erupted between supporters of the Shiite Hezbollah and Sunni conservative Al-Ahbash group, in Bourj Abu Haidar area near Beirut's downtown, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010.
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47 responses to “Hezbollah-Al-Ahbash clashes shook Beirut |pictures|”

  1. Urgh don’t you hate it when someone takes your parking spot….

    And we call our selves civilized and compare our selves to europeans …. akh…. I think even Africans would be embaressed to hear that 4 people died, 10 injured and god knows how much financial damage this cost over a parking spot….

    1. every house in lebanon have a weapon in zahle a yesterday a clash between 2 families happened and they used gun

    2. Maybe we should compare ourselves to Americans.

  2. Michael Avatar

    This is the legacy of iran and syria in lebanon: Blood, Destruction, Terrorism and Fanatism. The instruments are terrorists and fanatic organizations like hizbolla and Al Ahbash???? Al ahbash is this a name for a religious organization? or terrorist organization? how can these animals have place, weapons and support in lebanon??? this is suitable to Afganistan or Somalia, because in syria they dont want them they kill them or send them to lebanon.

    1. Reply to Michael,

      It’s obvious you don’t know who the Ahbash are. For sure they’re not a “terrorist group”, nor are they “animals”. Go get informed about these people from a reliable source, like the ahbash themselves, before making rediculous assumptions, and comments.

    2. haissam agha Avatar
      haissam agha

      who ever you trying to fool we know who you are to make such comment about the ahbash you must be a member of a terrorist group yourself and trying to cover yourself with the shadow of your finger people like you should look closely in the mirror before they comment about others

      1. and u must really be an idiot!!!!!

    3. Sandman Avatar

      Michael, I hate to burst your bubble but it wasn’t the Iranians or the Syrians who fired the shots it was the Lebanese. It is about time we all faced up to it and admitted that some of us are a bunch of uncivilized armed psychotics who need to be dragged to jail and locked up. No other country in the world will tolerate this kind of violence I dont care which party they belong to.

      Stop blaming foreigners for your problems ok?

  3. Michael,

    You can blame god for creating the devil. But the devil doesn’t put a gun in your hands and pull the trigger, you are the one responsible for that.

  4. VOICE OF TRUTH Avatar
    VOICE OF TRUTH

    “the weapons of the resistance will never be used in lebanese internal matters” (hezballah)

    we have been saying all along that you cannot run a country with this current double standard.

    you cannot have militias, military groups, resistance and whatever groups you want to call them, running loose, fully armed, each doing his own agenda while the army acts as sitting ducks, watching helplessly events as they unfold.

    what we need yesterday before today, one army one security entity for all of lebanon.

  5. Leb-Syrian Avatar
    Leb-Syrian

    Now I know why my mother prefers to stay majority of our vaca in Syria and not in LB, she always said cuz Syria was safer, now it definately feels that way, cuz if this happened in Syria, mukhabarat would be all over their a$$e$.

    1. Leb-Syrian Avatar
      Leb-Syrian

      haha bast@rds thumbed me down cuz I said Syria was safer. waaaaaah bite me

  6. My father told me to go to lebanon it’s so Amazing and i really want to beleive him so much , but all of this over a parking lot. i’M actually embarresed for my father who is lebanese……………….

    1. Shadi, dont let this stupid incident tell you otherwise…Lebanon is indeed one f the most beautiful countries you will see….the fact that we have european tourists coming to summer in leb is a big testament to what an amazing country we have…

      I invite you to go and visit and see for yourself, the love for life our people have, their hospitality, the beautiful mountains next to the blue mediterranean beaches…

      1. Leb-Syrian Avatar
        Leb-Syrian

        Agreed Cathy; Shadi, It is indeed beautiful, exotic, and a refreshing break from the west. Its just some of the people ruin it for everyone else. And you should never be embarrased of your roots, embrace them, crimes happen everywhere.

      2. PROPHET Avatar

        welcome back cathy, long time no seen.WE NEED YOU HELP.LOL

      3. cathy your posts are a breath of fresh air. this site needs you and many others like you.

    2. None of your business Avatar
      None of your business

      Lebanon is beautiful, and if you put your pride aside and take your dad for his word and visit lebanon, youll see for yourself. Not everyone in lebanon is an idiot like those people and not everywhere you go has damage and destruction. And your father doesnt want you to be emabarressed for him because he is proud to be a Lebanese just like all of us who are, are…

    3. Sandman Avatar

      Shadi, don’t be ashamed of being Lebanese because of a couple of rotten apples.

      Most Lebanese people are kind and generous and friendly but there are a few bad ones like in any society. What we need is a government that has the ability to deal with violence, gangs, crime, drugs and illegal possession of weapons.

  7. Constantin Avatar
    Constantin

    Shadi,

    I see your point! I am going next month and I am going to spend most of my time in the mountains, on the beaches, which usually are very calm. In Beirut I will stay mostly in east Beirut and Ras Beirut. I am not going to let stupid people and a stupid incident like this one prevent me from visiting my country.

    Neverthless, what happened is a complete turn-off for foreigners and foreign tourists unfortunately. If gangs can any time suddenly fight each other with automatic weapons, grenades and rockets in the middle of the city, this definitely does not create a security feeling. For this reason I am compoletetly with the concept of declaring Beirut( and its suburbs) as militia weapons free (including HA’ weapons).

    1. PROPHET Avatar

      Constantin , I Hope I’m not intruding by asking you this. Out of curiosity,Where in Lebanon are you from originally?

      1. Constantin Avatar
        Constantin

        Hi Prophet,

        Typical question asked by 99% of the Lebanese. “Inta min wayn?” and “min beit min?”…which usually I refuse to answer, but I will answer you (and let everyone here know): I am from Beirut, born in west Beirut in a neighborhood called Karakol El-Druz, then during my childhood my parents moved to the eastern suburbs of Beirut, and used to spend our summers in Bhamdoun. You posted previously that you are from the South (extreme south)… loll…Right?

      2. PROPHET Avatar

        Sorry, and Thanks Constantin ,Even Prophets fall for temptation .lol

        I don’t usually ask many personal questions. Just your post said that you’re visiting Lebanon soon. I got Tempted. Even

        Yes I’m From Bint Jbeil. Moved to the states right after the 82 invasion.

        I’ve only been back four times ,usually for family emergencies.

    2. constantin i fully agree with you man. i’m going in 10 days and these things are isolated skirmishes that to the outside world look like they’re huge.

      they’re not in anyway an infringement on our visits to our country.

      who knows man, you and i might be sitting side by side on one of these beaches and not know it.

      anyway have a good time man and maybe you and i can really report to people what lebanon is like from the inside.

      i cant wait to feel the energy of the city and the calmness of Alley.

      enjoy yourself bro cos ya libnan or not, we’re lebanese and this is all thats important.

      bon voyage man.

      1. Constantin Avatar
        Constantin

        Thanks Tony A and enjoy Aley. I love how they renovated the old market and kept their Lebanese architectural style.

      2. constantin i hope you can see my sincerity in saying that nothings personal in politics.

        i am talking to you lebanese to lebanese here so i wish you a safe trip and i will definitely pay attention to the market as i will cherish my per second stay there.

        my wife and i cant wait and she cant actually wait to see my dad inshallah waiting for us cos she loves him and she loves our tradition that when we see each other every morning and every day, we kiss each other on the cheeks.

        bon voyage brother

      3. Sandman Avatar

        Tony,

        I am going in 2 weeks and I’m very excited. We cant let this single incident of violence ruin it for us all. This is no different than an LA gang shooting in Compton 😛 I don’t know why it’s international news…Except for the RPG’s, gangsters in the US only have handguns 😉

      4. sandman bro just recently here in vancouver we had a murder in a parking lot between 2 sikh families. its everywhere man.

        but the only difference is that political party members should all act professional and have the internal borders of our country’s safety in mind at all times.

        those parking lot idiots should be punished for sure.

  8. Well I can see you all embarassed over the parking lot incident. While back in California there were many freeway shootings and many people were killed. The reason for these shooting was mostly because one driver was driving slow and didn’t go to other lane to let guy behind him go. or some other driver jumped in front of another guy and didn’t make signals. Yes crap happen but it happened that in lebanon we have weapons and they use them. The MP’s and the President are very naive to call for free arms beirut. You can’t call for it and be quiet. You have to have the army use its authority to go home to home and confiscate these weapons. They need to raids like they did in the past with the militias. Hezbollah needs also to allow the army in South beirut to protect the population from hurting each other. Yes its too many people, too little spaces. Its too hot, no electricity and pretty soon no running water. What you people expects? Lebanon is a powder keg and its got too many frustration and its got too many undeducated people. Even the educated ones act crazy lol. We like to show we’re hunky dory on the surface. But we show our ugly face every now and then. Just as less than a year the incident where people attacked and hanged the egyptian guy. Yes it seemed he was guilty as hell, but to react in more brutal way, its beyond beliefs. Lebanon with its frustations and lots of outside influence will keep surviving but thats all it can do and will remain at this point. For Mr. Nassrallah with all due respect to call on having nuclear tech. to produce electricity. that would be fine but how can you insure that this will not turn into weapons that will destroy our country with such incident over parking space. I hate to say even i heard that the hezbollah supporters were not even listening to their leaders to stop the fighting. Not that i am blaming one group over another but its just to show how much you cannot control people. So best thing to do Mr. President not just arrest people who were involved. But to do a major sweep in the area and remove these weapons. Not that you can remove all of it. But do the best you can to clear the heavy weapons at least. I regret the loss of life no matter who its. I am afraid this incident even though they’re shrugging it under the carpet already. But its far from over. This could carry over when the STL issues its ruling and it could be the boiling point to a bigger fight. After all no matter what sect/religion you belong to. You should belong to lebanon and help build lebanon not destroy it. This incident and like many more will make many people afraid to go and loose faith. I hope and pray no more killings and wisdom will prevail.

    But again for the people say i am embarrassed I say view the big picture before you do get embarrassed. Many people around the world have similar fights its just they didn’t have weapons to fight with..The parking space was just the tip of the iceberg. In our history we studied that Christian boy fought with a druse boy when playing marbles. Suddenly the fathers intervened and started their own fights. Then the villages from both sect created a bigger fight. Then we had a civil war fight. there are forces want to create a big fight and luckily both sides trying to contain it. I hope it remained that way.

    1. PROPHET Avatar

      Elias,

      Nice post. I’m in general agreement with most of what said. If I may add/ elaborate a thing or two on something you touched on.

      You were surprised that even educated people act crazy. Whether the incident over the parking space, or the hanging of the Egyptian man accused of murder ,or the wedding fight that cost couple of people their lives few weeks ago, or any of the crazy things we head about taking place in Lebanon. The common thing in all of this behavior isn’t lack of education . It’s the lack of civility in our society. It’s the disrespect for law and order. It’s the weaknesses of our laws, and impotence of o of our justice system. Behaviors like I, and you mentioned are Normal behavior for our leaders, PMs , Ministers, and so on. On my first visit to Lebanon, I almost got beaten by some MPs Guards because I didn’t move out of the way for his entourage to pass. Not that I know I was supposed to. Not that the traffic jam allowed me. Like an idiot I tried to defend my rights. Being on Hamra street, in front of the prime minster’s office back then, may have spared me the beating, but I wasn’t spared the curses and public humiliation. That was my wife’s first trip to Lebanon ,and she hates Lebanon ever

      1. Prophet i agree with you and you’re right its mostly civility not just education. Yes i hear about these MP’s if you don’t clear the way, they tow your car too. Well i am sorry it happened to you. Sometimes you have to go along with the flow and let it go.

      2. well said prophet

    2. elias where’ve you been man? i love when people can see the big picture and you’re one of them bro.

      1. Thanks Tony and we have to be objectives otherwise we all be fighting each other at all times. I remember on one my of visits to lebanon. I saw this doctor driving like a mad dog he nearly took me off the road. When I yelled at him he presented his middle finger to me. I shook my head in disbelief if a doctor who sees too many accidents driving like this? who’s to advise other drivers to drive carefully..That goes back to Prophet saying its all about civility and not just educations..

        have a safe trip to lebanon and i hope you will have a great time there.

  9. Cathy I missed you too.

  10. All arms should be in the hands of the state!If not the state will not be able to enforce laws!This is necessary for a state!Words are not enough!Action is needed or else there will be instability and civil strive!This is alarming!

    1. in the state they r not following laws u need the people to follow the law lol

  11. elias like i have said in my previious posts, i had an excellent time even in 2006 cos i saw the resilience of the lebanese people and the whole of lebanon comning together.

    it was beautiful to see all the people forgetting their religions and their differences and opening their doors and their hearts to each other.

    in 2008, boy oh boy what an amazing experience we had.

    this time around i’m taking my 11 month old boy Rocco Malik Ali and i’ve timed my trip purposefully so that he can turn 1 year old in lebanon around his other root family.

    his grandfather has already bought him a crib, a high chair, presents and a cute mosquito net to protect him. our boy will see the other side of love, passion, family, culture and though he might not remember it, his body memory will and that will influence his growing up as we go every year inshallah.

    btw his name malik is king and not maalik owner. he will learn to use his name with humility and in complete prostration to god as no one is above god except of course for the Supreme leader of iran ya3ni bikil sara7a wink wink lol

    1. Tony God bless you and your family too. I hope you have a good and safe trip. You have to keep doing it for the sake of your kids to keep them in tune with the culture. have fun and be safe.

  12. elias for sure bro. i will always encourage them to celebrate both worlds cos after all, i married into a canadian family out of love so, my children will always reflect their mother’s and father’s hearts.

  13. prophet Avatar

    Where will you saty,Tony?

  14. prophet Avatar

    PARDON MY TYPO, Stay?

    1. Prophet why do you want Tony to tell everyone here where he will stay. If Maria finds out, she will bomb his azz..just kidding Maria!

  15. LOL I actually am going to Lebanon mid-september. Certainly hope less of this BS is going around while I am there.

  16. Tino do you live in Montreal now is Karakol Druze near Central Bank beginning of Hamra cause I knew a constantin H. from there and Bhamdoun and then USA

  17. prophet Avatar

    Tim, He might pleased to have his ass spanked by Maria.lol

  18. LEB SYRIAN of course syria is match safer then lebanon becouse all them shitheads are coming from there and they bring there arms with them too anyway enjoy the safer country and enjoy the shit smell with it 2

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