Hezbollah Seizes Muslim Beirut

Major blow to US-backed government
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2008 6:12 AM CDT
A motorcycle is seen burnt out near a building where Hezbollah militants hanged Palestinian flags and pictures of President Bashar Assad in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, May 9, 2008.    (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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(Newser) – Hezbollah militants have taken control of Muslim areas of Beirut and now control all the roads to the Lebanese capital's airport, Reuters reports. Gunmen forced a pro-government TV station off the air. At least 11 people have been killed, including those trying to flee the city, as sectarian violence continued into a third day.

Masked gunmen roamed the streets as the city continued to suffer its worst violence since Lebanon's 15-year civil war. The army fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators but did not intervene in the fierce clashes between Shiite militias and Sunnis loyal to the country's US-backed government. Fears that the violence could escalate into another civil war are growing.