Five people have been shot dead at a protest in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, against the judge investigating last year’s devastating port explosion.
Heavy gunfire erupted as supporters of the Hezbollah and Amal movements demanded Judge Tarek Bitar’s removal.
They said snipers on rooftops attacked them to drag the country into strife.
Huge tension surrounds the probe into the port blast, with Hezbollah accusing the judge of unfairly singling out allied former government ministers.
What began as a protest against Judge Bitar outside the Palace of Justice, with chanting and marching, escalated significantly, reports the BBC’s Anna Foster in Beirut.
Heavy, rolling gunfire erupted in the streets as the crowd passed through a roundabout in the central Tayouneh-Badaro area.
Our correspondent said that there were very loud explosions as the Lebanese army moved into position and tried to work out where the shots were coming from. But, she adds, there was such a level of confusion that nobody knew for sure who was firing at whom.
Hospital and military sources said the dead included two men who were shot in the head and the chest, as well as a woman who was hit by a stray bullet while inside her home.
Bullets also landed near a local school, forcing students to duck for cover under their desks.
Hezbollah and Amal said in a joint statement that the protesters were targeted by “snipers positioned on the roofs of buildings”.
“This attack by armed and organised groups aims to drag the country