At least four people were killed and 20 others wounded Thursday as gunfire erupted in Lebanon’s capital amid protests against a judge investigating last year’s deadly port blast.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for calm to be restored and urged people “not to be dragged into civil strife.”  The army warned it would open fire against anyone shooting live rounds.

It was not immediately clear what triggered Thursday’s violence.

Supporters of the militant group Hezbollah and its allies had gathered near the Palace of Justice in Beirut to rally against Judge Tarek Bitar.  The groups have demanded his removal, accusing him of conducting a politicized investigation singling out certain officials.

The August 2020 explosion involving improperly stored ammonium nitrate at a port warehouse killed more than 200 people and injured thousands more while destroying parts of surrounding neighborhoods.

Some information for this report came from the Associated Press, AFP and Reuters 

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