Beirut streets turn into a warfare zone
plus: Iraq elections, ease Syria isolation, Tunisia's President Saied appointed a new government, EU announced a humanitarian aid package worth €1 billion.
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Beirut streets turned into a warfare zone on Thursday, October 14. Protests to remove blast investigation judge Tarek Bitar escalated to a deadly gunfire guerrilla. The Lebanese Red Cross reported at least six killed and more than 30 wounded. chaos and confusion erupted in the Tayouneh area, in the southern suburb of the capital Beirut. Bursts of gunfire and explosions could be heard from nearby Justice Palace, scattering the angry demonstrators. Part of wearing-black protestors suddenly moved toward the Tayouneh area, where Amal-Hezbollah armed groups were involved in gunfire clashes with Christian armed groups. It is still unclear how the urban guerrilla started. The exchanges of fire involved snipers, guns, rifles, and rocket-propelled grenades (RPG), according to several videos published online.
Shi'ite Muslim cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr's party was the biggest winner in an Iraqi election on Monday, increasing the number of seats he holds in parliament, according to initial results, officials, and a spokesperson for the Sadrist Movement. Former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki looked set to have the next largest win among Shi'ite parties, initial results showed. A count based on initial results from several provinces plus the capital Baghdad, verified by local government officials, suggested Sadr had won more than 70 seats, which if confirmed could give him considerable influence in forming a government.
Reuters analyses how Arab states are to ease relations with Bashar al-Assad’s isolation as U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has firmed up a belief among Arab leaders that they need to chart their course, anticipating a more hands-off approach from Washington, now preoccupied with the challenge of China.
Tunisia's President Kais Saied on Monday appointed a new government by decree, 11 weeks after he fired the last one. Saied sacked the prime minister, suspended parliament, and granted himself judicial powers on July 25, 2021. The new government is headed by Najla Bouden, Tunisia's first-ever female prime minister.
The European Union has announced a humanitarian aid package worth €1 billion to deal with the aftermath of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The new package builds upon €300 million which had been already agreed to support the country's civilian population, protect human rights and advance the coronavirus vaccination campaign. The European Commission will now add an extra €250 million for similar purposes, while €550 million will be channeled through international organizations working inside Afghanistan. The remaining €450 million have not yet been earmarked for concrete objectives.
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My name is Dario Sabaghi, a freelance journalist. I am interested in human rights international news with a focus on the MENA area.
Check out my work at dariosabaghi.com.
You can follow me on Twitter: @DarioSabaghi
Cover photo: IBRAHIM AMRO/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES