A dispute on the August 2020 port blast in Beirut turned into a devastating scene with demonstrators marching towards the Place of Justice being shot at by snipers on rooftops per reports.

The dispute saw hundreds of supporters of Iran-backed Hezbollah and its main Shia ally, Amal matching towards the Lebanese capital’s Palace of Justice when shots were fired. The incident was reportedly the worst violence in Lebanon in more than 10 years, CNN reported.

Protesters were calling on the removal of a well-known judge linked to a massive explosion at a Beirut port in August. That blast killed more than 200 people and left thousands injured.

The incident got worse when gunmen who are believed to be affiliated with the protesters, also opened fire in retaliation. At least six people were killed while 30 were left injured.

At least 9 people were arrested as a result of the deadly street violence in Beirut according to the Lebanese Army on Thursday, Oct. 21.

The epicenter of the clashes, the Tayouneh neighborhood, is close to the birthplace of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war and has raised the specter of further turmoil in the crisis-ridden country.

A joint statement was released by Hezbollah and Amal accused right-wing Christian party. They accused the Lebanese Forces of being behind the sniper attacks. The latter rejected the accusations and blamed the fighting on "widespread weapons."

"It's clear that those who fired at the protesters were organized armed groups who have been planning this attack since yesterday," a high-ranking Hezbollah official said to CNN. "We will not fire back. They want to drag us into civil strife and we do not want to sow civil strife."

Lebanon has been dealing with economic depression and this has led to skyrocketing inflation, poverty rates and unemployment. Aside from that, rapid decay in the country's infrastructure has been experienced in the last two years.

Beirut Explosion
BEIRUT, LEBANON - AUGUST 04: Smoke rises from a port facility after large explosions on August 4, 2020 in Beirut, Lebanon. At least 50 people were killed and thousands more injured when two explosions occurred near the Lebanese capital's port area. Marwan Tahtah/Getty Images

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