One Killed in Clashes between Shaker al-Berjawi Supporters, Salafists near Beirut's Sports Cityإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
One person was killed and at least ten were wounded on Sunday in clashes that erupted at dawn between Salafists and supporters of Arab Movement Party leader Shaker al-Berjawi near the Sports City center in Beirut.
Al-Jadeed television identified the victim as Khalil Nabil al-Hanash, whom Agence France Presse said Hanash was a member of the Arab Movement Party.
The Internal Security Forces said that 13 people were wounded in the unrest that witnessed the use of rocket-propelled grenades and machineguns.
The clashes ended as soon as the army intervened and deployed heavily in the area.
Al-Jazeera television said that the clashes broke out after a verbal dispute erupted between the rival forces.
The National News Agency meanwhile said Berjawi's supporters came under attack by hardline Sunni Islamists.
Witnesses said that the opposing gunmen were members of small Lebanese and Palestinian factions hostile to Hizbullah, whose fighters have intervened in Syria alongside the forces of President Bashar Assad, reported AFP.
A spokesman for the Mustaqbal Movement denied to MTV claims of the existence of Salafists in the area, saying that Berjwai was using this as an excuse to spark the fighting.
Berjawi meanwhile accused supporters of the Mustaqbal Movement of being behind the unrest, reported al-Jadeed.
The Army Command later said that the clashes broke out in the western neighborhood behind the Sports City.
The army intervened to contain the fighting and then cordoned off the area in order to restore calm.
It has also been carrying out raids against gunmen hideouts to arrest the perpetrators.
Sunday's battle between members of the small pro-Damascus Sunni group -- the Arab Movement Party -- against gunmen opposed to Assad's regime was not the first to take place between the two sides.
The Arab Movement Party was at the center of the fighting when the first Syria-linked violence erupted in Beirut in May 2012.
Its supporters were forced out of the Tariq al-Jadideh neighborhood in fighting with gunmen sympathetic to the Mustaqbal Movement of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
The latest Beirut fighting came after nine days of clashes between pro- and anti-Assad groups rocked the northern city of Tripoli, killing 24 people and wounding 128.
Tripoli has been the scene of chronic sectarian fighting since the war in Syria erupted three years ago, with gunmen from the Sunni district of Bab al-Tabbaneh battling fighters from neighboring Jabal Mohsen, whose residents belong to Assad's Alawite sect.
Berjawi is a veteran militant whose career has spanned multiple decades and causes.
He fought in the Lebanese civil war under the banner of the Palestine Liberation Organization before heading to Iraq to fight alongside now executed dictator Saddam Hussein's forces in his 1980-88 war with neighboring Iran.
At the time the Iraqi and Syrian regimes were bitter rivals, and on his return home, Berjawi was a staunch opponent of the troop presence in Lebanon which Syria maintained from 1976 to 2005, earning him a spell in prison in Damascus.
But he later changed sides and became a staunch ally of the Assad regime.