Sunday, 27 January 2008

Lebanese army fire on protesters

AP reports:
"At least seven people, including five political activists, were killed on Sunday when street protests over power cuts descended into violence in the mainly Shiite southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital.

Some reports say nine have been killed.

"Violence swept the mainly Shiite southern suburbs of Beirut.

"Youths wielding sticks and iron bars went on the rampage, pelting cars with stones and setting some on fire while the army was out in force in a bid to prevent the riots from spreading to nearby Sunni and Christian districts."

These protests have become common, not only in the southern suburbs, but across the capital. The continuing power blackouts is driving growing anger at the state of the country under the boot of the US backed M14 coalition. Following the national strike last Thursday the government ordered the army to crush any "riot" (or protest).

Tonight it looks like the soldiers got stuck in.

The protests seem to have spread to the airport road.

The BBC reports, "sporadic gunfire was heard as the fighting spread and Beirut's airport road was temporarily blocked by tyres."

According to Ya Lubnan rioting spread to:
- Gallerie Semaan area in east Beirut
- Mar Elias neighborhood in Beirut
- Ain el-Rommaneh, a Christian suburb in East Beirut
- Sidon Road
- Beirut Airport road
- Nabatiyeh in south Lebanon
- Sidon-Tyre main road in the south

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