Gunfire has been echoing through the streets of Beirut as supporters of Hezbollah and Sunni supporters of the Lebanese government clash across the country's capital.

Moves by the government to disable Hezbollah's telecommunications system and clamp down on security at Beirut airport have angered Hezbollah's Sayed Hassan Nasrallah who says this is a declaration of war.

The Lebanese army has been deployed, but has been ordered not to intervene without orders. Many fear this is a return to the 16-year civil war that paralysed the country up until the early 1990s.

On Thursday's Riz Khan we ask: Is Lebanon plunging into civil war?

Joining us from Houston is Ambassador Edward Djerejian, a former US assistant secretary of state and the founding director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Policy Studies at Rice University.

Also joining our programme is Chibli Mallat, a human rights attorney with a practice based in Beirut.
Dr. Mallat is currently a visiting professor of law at Utah University.

Watch part one of this episode of Riz Khan on Youtube

Watch part two of this episode of Riz Khan on Youtube

This episode of Riz Khan aired on Thursday, May 08, 2008

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