A clash between Sunni and Shi'a groups in Khalde (Mount Lebanon Governorate) on Thursday, August 27, has left at least two people dead. The incident, which took place in the southern outskirts of Beirut, was sparked when Sunnis prevented Shi'a groups, including supporters of Hezbollah and Amal, from erecting a banner in support of Salim Ayyash. Ayyash was recently sentenced in absentia for taking part in the assassination of the former prime minister, Rafik Hariri. One Lebanese and one Syrian citizen have been confirmed dead in the clash, with three further individuals injured. Lebanese armed forces intervened and arrested four people. The Khalde highway, near Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY), was briefly closed to traffic. A similar incident took place in the area on Thursday, August 20.
A heightened security presence is to be expected in the area over the near term. Continued clashes between Shi'a and Sunni groups cannot be ruled out.
Those in the region should remain vigilant, report any suspicious items or behavior to police, and adhere to all instructions and advice issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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