People look through the debris in the aftermath of the raid in the southern suburbs. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Shots were fired early Wednesday as police raided unlicensed businesses in Beirut's southern suburbs to fine and remove illegal stores and mobile vendors.A security source told The Daily Star that the Internal Security Forces and the Lebanese Army were bulldozing shops and removing unlicensed vendors – mainly selling snacks and coffee – from municipal property.The owner of a clothing store in Hay al-Sellom said Hezbollah and the Amal Movement had sanctioned the demolitions.Last month, Metn residents threw stones to protest the ISF's attempted destruction of an allegedly illegal building.Illegal buildings are fairly prevalent in Lebanon, with many violations dating from the Civil War period (1975-90), when the state's ability to regulate building permits was compromised.
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