08/25/2010, 00.00
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Armed clashes between Hezbollah and Sunni factions. Three dead

Sparked by a dispute over parking problems. Several shops and dozens of cars burned. For the two factions it is an "isolated incident, without religious or political overtones."

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Three men have died and several been wounded in Beirut, because of clashes between armed members of the Shiite Hezbollah group and Sunni faction Al-Ahbash. Hezbollah members Mohammad Fawaz and Hadi Munzer together with Al-Ahbash member Fawez Omeirat were killed last night in the district of Burj Abi Haidar, west Beirut, inhabited by Sunnis and Shiites.

Sources said the clashes began when a member of Al-Ahbash prevented a Hezbollah member from parking near the mosque frequented by the Sunni faction. According to others, Hezbollah had fired first at stores belonging to men of Al-Ahbash and then set fire to a mosque in the Sunni neighbourhood of Basta, West Beirut.

During the armed clashes, which lasted three hours, shops were torched and dozens of cars were destroyed. After the shooting, Hezbollah and Al-Ahbash issued a joint communiqué in which they explain that it was "an isolated incident, without religious or political undertones." In the note, Sunnis and Shiites agree "contain the incident and end it immediately, as well as banning all armed presence in the area so as to deal with all the repercussions of the incident."  

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