Hezbollah supporters attack Lebanese protesters
Date: 2019-11-25 11:20
Supporters of the Hezbollah and Amal movements attacked Lebanese anti-government protesters in Beirut on Monday (November 25), with army reinforcements intervening to diffuse tensions.
Shortly before midnight on Sunday, men on foot and scooters arrived at a roadblock set up by anti-graft protesters across a key street in the capital, local television showed.
They shouted insults and chanted in support of the chiefs of the Shiite movements Hezbollah and Amal, before briefly breaking through and attacking some demonstrators.
Those at the roadblock chanted "peaceful, peaceful", as the security forces and army reinforcements deployed in a thick line between both sides in the early hours of Monday morning.
The counter-protesters also headed to a main nerve centre of protests nearby and destroyed tents there, a local television channel said.
The tensions came after a peaceful day of demonstrations, more than a month into a spontaneous nationwide street movement against the political elite.
On Saturday, Lebanese security forces briefly detained five youths, including three minors, for allegedly pulling down a sign for President Michel Aoun's political party in the town of Hammana east of Beirut, sparking outrage on social media.
Security forces released them after midnight, the Committee of Lawyers for the Defence of Protesters said.
The army said two of the children were 15 years old and the third was 12.
"Down with the regime that arrests children," a Twitter user said.
"When a 12-year-old child manages to shake the state's throne, you know the state is corrupt," another wrote.
During the first month of demonstrations, security forces arrested 300 people including 12 minors who were released within 24 to 48 hours, according to the lawyers' committee.
But 11 people -- including two minors -- remain in detention accused of attacking a hotel in the southern city of Tyre during the first week of the uprising.
In Beirut's Martyrs' Square, hundreds of women and men demanded their rights, some waving the national red and white flag or chanting "Revolution, Revolution!"
Hezbollah militia is the only party not to have disarmed after the 1975-1990 civil war and plays a key role in Lebanese politics.
Based on AFP