A man runs for cover as gunfire breaks out at a protest in Beirut, Lebanon, on Thursday, October 14.
Hassan Ammar/AP

In pictures: Gunfire erupts during protest in Beirut

Updated 2:36 PM ET, Thu October 14, 2021

A man runs for cover as gunfire breaks out at a protest in Beirut, Lebanon, on Thursday, October 14.
Hassan Ammar/AP

Heavy gunfire broke out in Beirut, Lebanon, on Thursday, October 14, ahead of a demonstration calling for the removal of a judge who is leading a probe into the deadly 2020 port blast.

The Lebanese Red Cross reported six deaths during the armed clashes in the Lebanese capital. Lebanon's interior minister, Bassam Mawlawi, told reporters that snipers and gunmen "shot people in the head" and that four B7 rockets were fired into the air. It is the worst violence the city has seen in over 10 years.

Hundreds of supporters of Iran-backed Hezbollah and its main Shia ally, Amal, were marching toward the city's Palace of Justice when shots were fired at the protesters from an unknown location, forcing demonstrators and journalists to take cover, according to Mawlawi, an army statement and local broadcasters. Social media footage showed masked gunmen, apparently affiliated with the protesters, firing RPGs and AK-47s from alleyways and from behind garbage dumps and street barriers.

Hezbollah has been a staunch opponent of Tarek Bitar, the popular judge who is leading the Beirut blast investigation and has sought the prosecution of high-level officials.