A rocket hit Lebanon’s central law courts on Beirut’s Green Line early today, touching off a fire that destroyed all the legal records of this nation ruled by the gun.
“All files without exception have been burned. Citizens’ rights have become ashes,” Amin Nassar, president of the Higher Judicial Council, told state-owned Beirut Radio.
The attack, followed by heavy shelling of Christian areas just to the east of the courts, was described by Nassar as the biggest disaster of the civil war.
The courts, used for civil and criminal cases, are in an area held by Christian forces facing Syrian-backed Muslim militiamen on the main museum crossing between the capital’s Christian east and mainly Muslim west.
Three civilians were killed and 17 people were wounded in today’s exchange of tank and rocket fire across the Green Line, police said.
The new casualties raised the overall toll to 90 killed and 476 injured since the current upsurge of sectarian fighting erupted in the Lebanese capital on April 28.
The fighting tapered off to sporadic sniping at daybreak, but all crossings between the city’s Muslim and Christian sectors remained closed.