News / Middle East

2 Killed in Latest Syria-Related Clashes in Lebanon

Lebanese citizens leave a destroyed building that was damaged during clashes erupted between pro- and anti-Syrian Sunni groups, in Beirut, Lebanon, May 21, 2012.
Lebanese citizens leave a destroyed building that was damaged during clashes erupted between pro- and anti-Syrian Sunni groups, in Beirut, Lebanon, May 21, 2012.
VOA News
Hundreds of Lebanese mourners fired into the air Monday at a raucous funeral for an anti-Syrian cleric whose killing has set off deadly street battles in Beirut.

News that Sheikh Ahmed Abdul-Wahid had been gunned down in Lebanon set off battles between supporters and opponents of the Syrian government. By early Monday, after a night of fighting with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, at least two people had been killed and 15 others wounded.

The clashes in Beirut were the most serious unrest there since the Syrian uprising began 15 months ago. Fighting in northern Lebanon linked to the chaos in Syria also has killed eight people during the past week (( in the Lebanese port of Tripoli )).

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the spread of violence into Lebanon is extremely worrisome, and the U.S. State Department urged all parties to exercise restraint.

The latest fighting in southern Beirut resulted in the expulsion of a small pro-Syrian faction, the Arab Movement Party, from a largely Sunni Muslim neighborhood. Reports said the pro-Syrian group was attacked by gunmen from Lebanon's Future Movement, which supports the country's former prime minister Saad al-Hariri, an opponent of Syrian influence on Lebanon.

In the incident that triggered the fighting, Sunni cleric Abdul-Wahid and his bodyguard were gunned down Sunday by a Lebanese soldier, reportedly after they attempted to speed away from a security checkpoint.

The Lebanese military has said it is investigating the shooting.

At Abdul-Wahid's funeral Monday in the cleric's northern hometown of Bireh, near the Syrian border, a Sunni member of Lebanon's parliament, Khaled Daher, delivered a fiery speech accusing the Syrian government of trying "to sow chaos" in Lebanon. He told mourners Abdul-Wahid was the victim of an "international assassination" by Lebanese troops loyal to Damascus.

Syria's army was deployed in Lebanon for nearly 30 years until 2005, and still has strong ties to the country's security services. Suspicions are rife that Damascus has been manipulating its Lebanese allies to feed the fighting.

In Syria itself, activists said government forces shelled and then stormed the village of Qastoun Monday. Reuters quotes an activist living in the central city of Hama as saying dozens of mortars had hit the village and that there were casualties.

The violence followed attacks a day earlier by security forces on the nearby rebel-held town of Souran. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 39 people, including children, were killed in Sunday's violence.

There was no independent confirmation of the casualties.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid