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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid