January 23, 2007, - 1:19 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Read the coverage at my favorite Lebanese news source, Ya Libnan, which does a great job of exposing Hezbollah, including this latest attempt to overthrow the Lebanese government and replace it with Hezbos:
At least 48 people were hurt in scuffles, especially in Beirut and Christian areas, security sources said.
Black smoke billowed over Beirut as [Hezbollah] demonstrators shut main roads, including those to the port and international airport. Black-masked Hezbollah organizers prowled the streets on motorcycles, walkie-talkies clamped to their mouths.
Lebanese soldiers fired into the air to keep stone-throwing crowds apart in Beirut and on a highway to the north. Daily life was paralyzed in the capital and many other areas of Lebanon.
“This government only understands force and today is only a small lesson,” protester Jamil Wahb told Reuters in the Shi’ite southern suburbs. “We will stay here until they give in.”
Six pro-government loyalists were wounded, one of them critically, by shooting during an opposition protest in the northern Christian village of Halba, security sources said.
In other violence, a gunman fired on protesters in the ancient Christian town of Byblos, wounding three people before soldiers arrested him. . . .
The strike dramatically escalates a campaign by Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran, and its allies to replace the government and hold early parliamentary elections. . . .
One Christian leader said Tuesday’s protests were tantamount to a coup attempt against the Western-backed government. . . .
Demonstrators blocked roads to Beirut airport with burning tires and earth barricades. Several Arab and international airlines suspended flights, though the national flag carrier Middle East Airlines made no announcement on its plans.
Hezbollah Terrorist Rioters in Lebanon, Today
The airport remained operational, but few workers or passengers showed up, airport sources said.
Most main roads in Beirut were shut, as were highways to the north and south, and to the Syrian capital Damascus.
Many shops, schools and businesses were closed in Beirut but it was hard to tell whether this was in support of the strike or because people could not get to work past blazing barricades.
Pro-government figures condemned the protests.
“What is happening is a revolution and a coup attempt,” Christian leader Samir Geagea told al-Jazeera television. “This is direct terrorism to paralyze the country.” . . .
Hezbollah followers chanted slogans as they lit tires in downtown Beirut, close to the prime minister’s office.
“Siniora out, down with the government.”
So much for President Bush’s democracy plan for Lebanon.
Tags: Beirut, Beirut airport, Bush, Damascus, flag carrier, Hizballah, Islamic Republic of Iran, Jamil Wahb, leader, Lebanese government, Lebanon, Middle East Airlines, President, Prime Minister, Reuters, Samir Geagea, Syria, Today The airport, Ya Libnan