Written by by Staff Writer, CNN Beirut, Lebanon
Eighteen people were killed and more than 200 wounded in shooting attacks in the Lebanese capital city of Beirut overnight, according to a report by Lebanon’s National News Agency .
The clashes, which took place in different areas of the capital, pitted militants against each other in at least three separate locations, the report said.
Ten of the victims were unidentified gunmen while 14 were civilians, according to reports by Al-Majd.
Video footage provided by Red Cross shows members of security forces rescuing victims after a deadly gun battle broke out on March 1, 2018 in Beirut, Lebanon. Credit: Red Cross
Violence has spiraled in Lebanon recently, with clashes between government security forces and Islamist groups in Beirut and at the Islamic State’s former stronghold of al-Qaa, just north of the capital.
In an Instagram post earlier this week, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said his group was seeking to tamp down instability in the country.
“The security system today is facing a complex, sensitive, and dangerous situation, so we will be in pursuit of the criminals to uncover them and establish the truth and repress them and bring them to justice, wherever they might be,” Nasrallah said.
Last month, AFP reported that Iranian-backed militia Hezbollah had detained 36 people in a massive night raid in the north of Lebanon, members of the Islamic State, Al Qaeda and other banned terror groups.
Yusuf Hariri, editor of the English-language Daily Star, said that tensions had been running high in the country since the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on November 4.
Hariri’s move triggered weeks of political and economic turmoil in Lebanon, which is highly dependent on Saudi aid.