27 January 2008

One killed and 3 wounded in Beirut suburb

Beirut - Hezbollah and Amal supporters
protesters burned tires and blocked the road near the Mar Mikhael
church in the Chiah district east of Lebanon’s capital Beirut.

The fifth regiment of the army tried to intervene by trying to reopen the road but the protesters opened fire at the army

Other protesters burned rubber tires and also tried to block the road near Gallerie Samaan.

They were protesting against the power blackouts according to sources at the scene.

The Lebanese army arrested a number of young people, which led to considerable resentment among the demonstrators.

The shooting resulted the killing of one and the wounding of three .
Ahmad Hassan Hamze 35, a Shiite Amal official was killed …. The
identities of the wounded was not disclosed

Lebanon’s Minister of sport Ahmad Fatfat condemned the violent
protests and said ; “Is it fair for the protesters who are protesting
against power cuts and living conditions to shoot at the army ?”

Update : 6: 30 PM Protest expands into other areas of Beirut

Several young men bocked the Mar Elias road in Beirut , but the army intervened and reopened the road

More intensive shooting was heard in the Gallerie Semaan area.

Early reports indicate that Hamze was killed by sniper fire as he was trying to mediate between the protesters and the army

The explosion of the fuel tank of a car in Mar Mikhael church area created a a state of panic in the ranks of the demonstrators

The Amal movement has requested its supporters to be calm and called
on the Lebanese army to conduct an immediate investigation

Gunfire was heard near the al Hayat hospital , which is treating
many of those wounded during the protests. Many of the vehicles near
the hospital have broken glass windows as a result of the shooting
(tears of lebanon)

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Lebanon Time-Line

Introducing Lebanon

Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.

With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.

The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.

Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?

Introducing Beirut

What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster.

If you’re in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying, eating and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. If you’re standing in the shadow of buildings still peppered with bullet holes, or walking the Green Line with an elderly resident, it’s a city of bitter memories and a dark past. If you’re with Beirut’s Armenians, Beirut is about salvation; if you’re with its handful of Jews, it’s about hiding your true identity. Here you’ll find the freest gay scene in the Arab Middle East, yet homosexuality is still illegal. If you’re in one of Beirut’s southern refugee camps, Beirut is about sorrow and displacement; other southern districts are considered a base for paramilitary operations and south Beirut is home to infamous Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah. For some, it’s a city of fear; for others, freedom.

Throw in maniacal drivers, air pollution from old, smoking Mercedes taxis, world-class universities, bars to rival Soho and coffee thicker than mud, political demonstrations, and swimming pools awash with more silicone than Miami. Add people so friendly you’ll swear it can’t be true, a political situation existing on a knife-edge, internationally renowned museums and gallery openings that continue in the face of explosions, assassinations and power cuts, and you’ll find that you’ve never experienced a capital city quite so alive and kicking – despite its frequent volatility.