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Violence in Lebanon over Mikati appointment

Beirut, January 25, 2011

Violent protests erupted across Lebanon after President Michel Suleiman appointed telecoms tycoon Najib Mikati, who is being backed by Hezbollah and its allies, as prime minister-designate on Tuesday, said media reports.

Supporters of caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s Future Movement took to the streets in the northern city of Tripoli, the Bekaa region in the east, the southern city of Sidon and some Beirut neighborhoods in a show of strength protesting against appointment of Mikati, the report added.

Mikati, a Sunni from Tripoli, won the nomination of 68 members of parliament of the country's 128-member assembly.

Speaking after the appointment, Mikati said he would start talks to form the government on Thursday and urged all Lebanese factions to overcome their differences.

Meanwhile, reports said demonstrators in Tripoli attacked and burned a car of Al-Jazeera television, and ransacked the office of a rival MP. The mob also blocked roads with burning tires.

Denouncing violence, Hariri has called for calm among his supporters. 'My call for you is a national call. You are angry but you are responsible people. I understand your feelings,' he told supporters in a televised speech.'

'This anger should not lead us to what disagrees with our values  our belief that democracy is our refuge,' he added.




Tags: lebanon | Hezbollah | violence | Hariri supporters |

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