One man was killed in a clash near the Iranian embassy in Beirut between supporters and opponents of Hezbollah, the Shiite guerrilla group backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebels.
The man died after sustaining gunshot wounds, the Lebanese army said in a statement. The man was identified by Lebanese media as Hashem Salman and was among a group protesting the involvement of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Syria’s war.
Sectarian tension has soared in Lebanon this year after Hezbollah joined forces with Assad, an Iranian ally, raising concern that the country would be dragged deeper into the civil war ravaging its larger neighbor. Rockets slammed into Hezbollah’s stronghold in a southern suburb of Beirut last month, injuring four people.
Sporadic violence between supporters and opponents of Assad in Lebanon may evolve into a civil war as early as next year, according to research firm IHS. The country, which has a long history of sectarian violence, suffered a 15-year civil war that ended in 1990.
Syria’s war has killed more than 80,000 people since it began in 2011, Vuk Jeremic, president of the UN General Assembly, said in May.
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