Hezbollah MP says recent violence a ‘massacre,’ calls for accountability

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The deadly clashes that broke out in Beirut on Thursday amounted to a “massacre” and its perpetrators should be held to account, local media cited a Hezbollah representative in the Lebanese parliament as saying on Sunday.

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Hezbollah blamed the Christian Lebanese Forces party for the deaths on Thursday, an accusation the head of that party, Samir Geagea, denied.

The perpetrators should be held to account, the pro-Iranian al-Mayadeen TV quoted a Hezbollah representative in the Lebanese parliament as saying on Sunday.

“What the criminals ... did is a massacre and it will have important ramifications,” MP Hassan Fadallah said, according to the Beirut-based channel. “Those who incited, planned ... and opened fire should be held to account all the way up to the top.”

On Thursday, the army initially said rounds were fired on at protesters as they passed through the Teyouneh traffic circle dividing Christian and Shia Muslim neighborhoods. It later said there had been an “altercation and exchange of fire” as protesters were on their way to the demonstration.

Defense Minister Maurice Selim said on Saturday that a stampede and a clash in Teyouneh led to gunfire by both sides, adding that the exchange of fire had preceded the sniper fire.

Families of the victims of the port blast expressed their support for judge Bitar on Saturday after a spokesman for one of their groups surprisingly changed tack on Friday night by saying he should leave.

His sudden change of stance prompted a flurry of speculation on social media that he had been threatened.

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