Hariri's parliamentary bloc calls for an arms-free Beirut
The parliamentary bloc of Lebanese Premier Saad Hariri called Tuesday on the government to make Beirut an arms-free city, dpa reported.
The Future bloc said in a statement after their weekly meeting that the call was not just to target the weapons of the Shiite movement Hezbollah, but instead "to protect the stability of the country and prevent further conflict."
The call follows a deadly street battle that shook the Burj Abu Haidar district in the Lebanese capital on August 24, pitting supporters of Hezbollah against those of Sunni group Al-Ahbash - also known as the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects.
Three people, including a Hezbollah official, were killed in the clashes.
"The Lebanese have had it with militia activities and will keep opposing it loudly and democratically," the statement said.
The issue of the Hezbollah arms has been a point of disagreement in Lebanon, with many in Lebanon's Western-backed majority, headed by Hariri, wanting to disarm Hezbollah - a demand the group rejects.
Hezbollah's weapons became an even more divisive issue after the group used them in street fighting in Beirut, in May 2008, against Hariri's Sunni followers.
Hezbollah is a Lebanese militant group which fought a deadly 33- day war with Israel in 2006. The group has vowed to keep their weapons despite calls by the international community to disarm.
They said their arms are essential to protect Lebanon from any possible Israeli aggression.