Friday, 9 May 2008

Beirut—Friday 9 May

Map shows concentration of clashes in Beirut.

Last updated 1.35am, Saturday

There is not a sound in the city. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

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Supporters of the Future Current have gunned down two Druze members of the opposition in Khalde, in the foothills of Beirut. Two were wounded. Reports are also coming in that gunfire was heard in the Druze town of Aley, in the mountains above Beirut. Futher reports are that Jumblat's militia, the PSP (Progressive Socialist Party), has handed strategic positions in the mountains over to the army.

The word on everyones lips is "fitna" — a schism between Sunni and Shia Muslims. At the moment this struggle is political — between the US backed government and opposition, who are supporters of the resistance.

Opposition gunmen, many of them masked, are roaming around the Hamra area of west Beirut, some have flags with pictures of Nasser on them (Al Mourabitoun).

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Map shows west Beirut streets seized by the opposition (click on image for detail).

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A friend in Ain el Mreisseh (near to the old hotel district) said that Amal fighters from the opposition took over her neighbourhood "pretty quickly this afternoon".

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Partisans of the Syrian Social National Party (SSNP) ransacked then set fire to the Future TV building close to the Saudi embassy.

Hariri seems unable to mobilise his supporters, his Beirut home is still surrounded.

Pro-government politicians are on TV condeming Hizbollah for "sending all their forces into west Beirut".

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Thursday turned into a bad day for the government. The opposition forces overan Future TV and Al-Mustaqbal offices in west Beirut. Both are the media mouthpieces of Saad Hariri. The buildings have been gutted and torched.

It seems that the pro government fighters (private security forces) walked away from the battle.

Rumours that Walid Jumblat, a key government ally, abandoned his house in the upmarket quarter of Clemenceau proved unfounded. But the threat against his residence seems to have triggered clashes just south of the capital.

There are reports of confrontations yesterday in the northern city of Tripoli between the Future Current and opponents of the government.

To add to the drama there was a ferocious storm overnight.

2 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

I'm sure many people will be coming to this blog for news.

Lebanese Socialist said...

Many thanks Renegade for staying with us during these events.

Sursock