In a sign of lingering tensions in Lebanon 16 people have been injured in gunfire between Hizbollah militants and supporters of the Lebanese majority in south Beirut. The clashes were sparked after a speech by Hizbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah celebrating the eighth anniversary of the Israeli pullout from southern Lebanon when some of his supporters fired into the air injuring local people.
In it he had spoken of his group no longer using weapons for political ends.
Nasrallah’s backing of the recent Doha accord facilitated the election of new Lebanese Prresident Michel Suleiman who took up office yesterday. Nasrallah said in his speech the election of Suleiman renews hopes of the Lebanese for a new era.
The government and opposition had for months been unable to agree on a successor to President Emile Lahoud.
Suleiman will consult lawmakers today on their choice for prime minister. The post will go to a Sunni according to Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing system.
An agreement last week between the US-backed ruling coalition and the Hizbollah-led opposition alliance defused a crisis that caused the worst civil strife since Lebanon’s war between 1975 to 1990.