Press release on the armed confrontation in central Beirut
On October 14, a major armed confrontation erupted in central Beirut. According to reports, at about 11 am, participants in an authorised protest rally organised by the Shia movements Amal and Hezbollah near the Justice Palace came under fire from the nearby high-rise building. Amal fighters who ensured security during the demonstration returned fire. The army rushed to the scene and took the necessary measures to localise the incident, sealing off the area.
According to the Lebanese Interior Ministry, six people were killed in the shooting, and several dozen people were wounded. The Russian Embassy in Beirut reported that there were no Russian nationals among the victims.
President of Lebanon Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Najib Mikati headed the crisis centre for addressing the consequences of this emergency, and issued a call for calm.
In their joint statement, Amal and Hezbollah laid the blame for the incident on provocateurs seeking to achieve questionable political goals by spilling blood of innocent victims.
The growing political tension in Lebanon is a matter of grave concern for Moscow. We hope that the Najib Mikati government that was so hard in the making overcomes this dangerous challenge and prevents any further degradation of the situation in the country. We express our condolences to the families and friends of the victims, and call on all Lebanese politicians to demonstrate restraint and reason, and return to joint constructive efforts for addressing issues on the national agenda based on mutual respect and conciliation, without foreign interference.