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French Version


Protesters block road to airport for second day

Approximately 100 people blocked the road leading to Beirut's airport with burning tires for the second day in a row on Tuesday.

The Lebanese Army and the Internal Security Forces (ISF) contained the resulting fires and dispersed the protesters.

The blockade was held near the Higher Shiite Council on Haret Hreik's old airport road and was carried out in protest of deteriorating living conditions and excessive power cuts in Beirut's southern suburbs.

While the Lebanese Army worked on reopening the road by extinguishing a fire caused by the burning tires, other troops and the Internal Security Forces patrolled the area.

The army also reopened the road near Al-Rasul Al-Aazam Hospital, which was also blocked by burning tires.

On Monday, the Lebanese Army detained eight people who were suspected of having encouraged a crowd to block traffic in Beirut's southern suburb following a rumor about an increase in the price of bread.

A security source said a crowd of about 100 people set fire to tires and blocked traffic along the road linking the roundabout near the Kuwaiti Embassy to Ghobeiry Square and chanted slogans against Premier Fouad Siniora's government.

Army and ISF patrols rushed to the area, dispersed protesters and reopened the road to traffic after a closure of one hour.

No group has claimed responsibility for the protest, which was carried out despite denials of rumors of a price hike by the Economy Ministry and the bakers' syndicate.

The General Labor Confederation, along with agricultural syndicates, are planning large-scale demonstrations on January 24 to protest against dire financial and economic conditions plaguing Lebanon.

Hizbullah head Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned in his latest speech that the opposition will take to the streets if initiatives to solve the year-old political standoff fail.

Beirut 16-01-2008
Redaction
The Daily Star



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