Protests, gunfire in Lebanon after Beirut killing

BEIRUT Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:29am IST

A Sunni Muslim woman reacts as she burns a tire, blocking a street in Beirut during protests against the killing of senior intelligence official Wissam al-Hassan in an explosion, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Hussam Shebaro

A Sunni Muslim woman reacts as she burns a tire, blocking a street in Beirut during protests against the killing of senior intelligence official Wissam al-Hassan in an explosion, October 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Hussam Shebaro

Related Topics

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Sunni Muslims took to the streets and burned tyres across Lebanon in protest against the killing of senior intelligence official Wissam al-Hassan in a car bomb on Friday, witnesses said.

Protesters, infuriated by the death of the prominent Sunni, blocked roads in the eastern Bekaa valley region, the northern area of Akkar, neighbourhoods of the capital Beirut and in the southern city of Sidon.

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - a member of an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam - of being behind the huge car bomb which killed Hassan and at least seven other people in central Beirut on Friday.

The attack has brought the violence in neighbouring Syria to the Lebanese capital, confirming fears that the conflict is infecting the surrounding region.

Lebanon's religious communities are divided between those supporting Assad and those backing the rebels trying to overthrow him.

In the coastal city of Tripoli, gunshots could be heard from the district of Bab al-Tabbaneh, a Sunni area.

Gunmen there have occasionally clashed with rivals in neighbouring Jebel Mohsen, an area full of Alawites, the sect that counts Assad as a member.

Witnesses in two districts of Beirut said enraged protesters had started attacking passing cars.

(Reporting by Mariam Karouny in Beirut and Nazih Saddiq in Tripoli; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Racial Unrest

Racial Unrest

Calm comes to troubled Ferguson; protests dwindle in other U.S. cities  Full Article | Video 

Suicide Attack

Suicide Attack

Taliban kill 5 in Kabul in attacks on British embassy car, foreign compound   Full Article | Video 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Canada to deploy military health staff to Sierra Leone in Ebola fight  Full Article 

IS Funds

IS Funds

Islamic State lacks funds to keep control of Iraqi, Syrian territory - experts   Full Article 

Myanmar Reforms

Myanmar Reforms

Dinner with Suu Kyi? - No thanks, say Myanmar military.  Full Article 

Indonesia Leader

Indonesia Leader

Can man-of-the-people Widodo micromanage 240 million Indonesians?  Full Article 

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day

Thankful to arrive on snowy U.S. holiday with power out, travel delays  Full Article 

Crime in Mexico

Crime in Mexico

Mexico president vows to reform police, battle organized crime  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage