US to give extra $67 mln to Lebanon’s army: Senior US official

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The US will offer an additional $67 million to support the Lebanese army, US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said in Beirut on Thursday.

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Speaking at a news conference, Nuland said the US was working with the Lebanese authorities, alongside the World Bank and humanitarian relief agencies, to help the country amid its deep economic crisis.

She offered condolences from the US to the nation after violence erupted in Beirut, resulting in at least six dead and several others wounded.

Authorities said the bloodshed was a result of gunfire on protesters who were going to take part in a demonstration called by Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Shia group. Demonstrators had been gathering to demand the removal of the judge investigating last year’s Beirut port blast.

Hezbollah and its Shia ally, the Amal movement, accused the Christian Lebanese Forces party of being behind the shootings.

Lebanon has been facing a financial meltdown, leading to shortages of basic goods, including fuel. Amid the crisis, Iran has sent fuel to Lebanon.

Nuland said any support offered by oil producing Iran was a “publicity stunt”.

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