Across the Bay

Saturday, March 05, 2005

About that Gunfire in Ashrafieh

This is what tomorrow's An-Nahar reported on the gunfire in Ashrafieh:

Armed Gunmen Carrying Pictures of Asad and Lahoud Fire Among Crowds in Ashrafieh

The crowd gathered in Sassine Square, celebrating the "independence uprising," were surprised to see a convoy of Syrian Baathists in 5 cars and a Mercedes 4wd. When the convoy reached Karam Hospital, it stopped and the men in it started waving pictures of presidents Asad and Lahoud, which led to a yelling match between them and some young men, according to the AP. As a result, one of the men in the convoy got out carrying a Kalishnikov assault rifle and started shooting among the crowd, and continued doing so until he reached Sassine Square, when another gunman caught up with him and pulled him back into the car. After that, the convoy turned around and headed toward Sodeco and was spotted in front of "Zaatar w Zeit" restaurant. Soon an army patrol arrived and chased the gunmen, but was unable to arrest any of them.

Some security sources mentioned that the gunmen carried licensed guns, and that they were bodyguards of some ministers. They had driven in the convoy around the Hotel Beau Rivage area [the headquarters of the Syrian mukhabarat in Beirut] in Ramle Bayda, before heading to Ashrafieh.

Just so that we're clear who's resorting to violence before all the Angry Hairs of the world start telling us how the Lebanese protesters are just a bunch of armed violent hoodlums.