Russia urges restraint in crisis-hit Lebanon

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Russia’s foreign ministry on Friday called on all sides in Lebanon to “show restraint” after deadly clashes rocked its capital Beirut as tensions rise over last year’s port explosion.

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Six people were killed and dozens wounded on Thursday when violence erupted following a rally by Shiite protesters demanding the removal of the judge investigating last August’s blast that left at least 210 people dead.

“Moscow is extremely concerned about the growing political tensions in Lebanon,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“We call on all Lebanese politicians to show restraint and prudence.”

The ministry added that it hoped the government of new Prime Minister Najib Mikati would be able to cope with a “dangerous and considerably difficult challenge.”

France, the US and United Nations earlier appealed for calm but also insisted on the need to allow the port explosion probe to continue unhindered.

In its statement, Russia’s foreign ministry called on the Lebanese government to return to resolving the current issues “without external interference.”

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