Lebanon moves to address widespread use of weapons

August 25, 2010 23:28


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BEIRUT – Lebanon moved to address the widespread possession and use of weapons in the country Wednesday after Shi'ite and Sunni groups used machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades in a deadly, hours-long street battle that was the worst clash in Beirut since 2008.

The Information Ministry announced the formation of a committee headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri to come up with proposals for confronting the problem, a day after the fighting in a residential neighborhood of Beirut killed three members of the Shi'ite Hizbullah group and a follower of the conservative Sunni al-Ahbash group.

The announcement touches on one of Lebanon's most enduring problems: private, well-armed militias that operate outside the control of the central government.

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