BEIRUT — Armed clashes between owners and operators of electricity-providing generators in both Beirut and Tripoli on Friday afternoon and night left one person dead and four others injured.
The state-run National News Agency reported that an argument between generator owners in the Aisha Bakkar neighborhood of the Lebanese capital on Friday afternoon escalated and left two people injured
Meanwhile, on Friday night in Tripoli, a Syrian man was killed and two other people were wounded "during a dispute between youths and employees of generators" in the Abi Samra neighborhood, L'Orient Today's correspondent in the area reported. The dispute escalated into gunfire, and security forces arrived to pursue the gunmen, our correspondent said, adding that the army deployed to the area following the incident.
إطلاق نار كثيف في عايشه بكار / تلة الخياط. pic.twitter.com/iAKUdPV6vN— zahra chami (@ZahraChami) February 10, 2023
In a statement, the army said the shooting occurred as a result of a "family dispute."
"An army patrol searched the homes of the shooters and seized two vehicles, Kalashnikov rifles, a grenade, magazines and ammunition," the statement added.
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Earlier on Friday, two injuries were reported after gunshots were fired in the Beirut neighborhood of Aisha Bakkar, following a dispute between owners of private generators.
The shooting reportedly took place "after a dispute that broke out two days ago between several generator owners in the area," the NNA reported. Other local media reported "violent clashes," and several bursts of gunfire can be heard in videos of the area circulating on social media networks.
Later on Friday, residents of Aisha Bakkar held a sit-in in front of the Interior Ministry, in the neighboring district of Sanayeh, the NNA reported.
"The road was blocked with burning tires to protest the repeated clashes in this neighborhood yesterday and today," the NNA reported on Friday, saying that "demonstrators have demanded the removal of a neighborhood mukhtar [a local official responsible for records] following the clashes."
According to some local media, one of the generator owners involved in the shooting is a local mukhtar.
On Saturday afternoon, the army said it had arrested two men, identified as I.H. and his son K.H., in Tariq al-Jadideh, "for their involvement in the clashes that took place in the neighborhood of Aisha Bakkar" on Friday.
In a statement posted on its Twitter account, the army said that "two Kalashnikov were seized in their possession, as well as a revolver, grenades and ammunition." An investigation has also been opened.
In September, caretaker Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi announced a "sustainable" security plan for North Lebanon, following deadly shootings in Tripoli that raised fears of more violence.
However, security incidents continue to take place in the city.
In a Lebanon in the midst of economic collapse, such incidents are common, with weapons possession pervasive in many areas.
Additional reporting by Michel Hallak