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Hizbollah cedes parts of Beirut to army

Hizbollah cedes parts of Beirut to army
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The Lebanese army has been retaking control of parts of Beirut seized by Hizbollah in fighting yesterday. At least least 11 people died in clashes between the Shi’ite group and gunmen loyal to the western-backed government.

Hizbollah seized much of the Muslim western part of the city, driving out the pro-government fighters. It was described as the worst fighting in the capital the 1975-1990 civil war.

The militant group targeted offices linked to Saad al-Harari, a leader of the anti-Syrian ruling coalition. Harari’s Future News TV channel was forced off air after it was raided by Hizbollah gunmen.

The gunmen later handed over control of the channel and other Harari interests to the army. That process has continued throughout this morning. Across the city residents spoke of a terrifying night, reminiscent of the worst days of the civil war.

The dead included a woman and her 30-year-old son, who were killed when trying to flee Ras al-Nabae — a mixed Sunni-Shi’ite Beirut district and scene of some of the heaviest clashes.