Friday, May 9, 2008

Lebanon's opposition takes west Beirut

According to a Press TV correspondent in Lebanon, opposition forces have now taken full control of west Beirut.

Opposition forces have stormed the Ras al-Naba area which is a key stronghold of the western-backed ruling coalition. They have detained gunmen loyal to the government and handed them over to the Lebanese army.

Reports also say guards have now fled the offices belonging to coalition leader Saad al-Hariri's Future Group.

Informed sources in Beirut have told Press TV that Hezbollah intends to decide the fate of its conflict with the Lebanese government within the coming hours. The current crisis flared when the government decided to ban Hezbollah's communications network and fire the Hezbollah-linked chief of security at Beirut International Airport.

Hezbollah Leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah said the moves were a declaration of war against his party.

Fighting in Beirut has already claimed the lives of seven people. Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa has cut short a trip to Washington to call an emergency session of the body to discuss the crisis.