Lebanon: 2 killed in clash over illegal building

AP News
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Posted: Apr 21, 2011 5:17 AM
Lebanon: 2 killed in clash over illegal building

Security officials say a dispute over a building permit in southern Lebanon has descended into a gunbattle that killed two people.

The clash Thursday in the port city of Tyre pitted residents against police and army forces who tried to stop the illegal construction of homes on state-owned land.

Illegal construction is common in Lebanon, where many poor who cannot afford to buy land or apartments end up building on state-owned property.

The security officials said the residents opened fire first, setting a police car on fire. The force then returned fire, killing two people, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.