LEBANON: Two killed, three injured in sectarian confrontations south of Beirut

KHALDAH, Lebanon — According to the National Media Agency in Lebanon, a confrontation erupted near the town of Khaldah, south of Beirut, between Arab groups after a flag celebrating Ashura, an Islamic holiday celebrated predominantly by Shia Muslims, was raised in the town.

Arguments quickly turned into exchanges of small arms fire, graduating to exchanges of machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) fire. Two people were killed and several others wounded in the incident.

The Lebanese Army stated that four people have been arrested, including two Syrian nationals. Other perpetrators of the violence are being pursued.

Lebanese army units have since deployed to the Khaldah to restore stability and reopen roads that had been closed due to the fighting.

A senior official declared that the situation has returned to normal several hours after the initial confrontations.

Many political parties expressed their concern about the incident, indicating that sectarian tensions may worsen at a time when the country is facing multiple crises without a sitting government.