Beirut, May 10 (Reuters): Hezbollah today began withdrawing gunmen from Beirut and handed control of the streets to the Lebanese army, after seizing much of the city in gunbattles with supporters of the US-backed government.
Hezbollah, a political group backed by Iran and Syria with a guerrilla army, said it was ending its armed presence in Beirut after the army overturned government measures against the group.
Hezbollah took over much of Beirut yesterday after fighters loyal to the group routed gunmen loyal to the anti-Damascus governing coalition.
Four days of fighting which killed 37 people erupted after the government said it was taking action against Hezbollahs military communications network and sacked the head of security at Beirut airport, who is close to the group.
Hezbollah said the government had declared war by moving against the communications network, which played a crucial role in its 34-day war.