Four people were shot dead in clashes between pro- and anti-government activists on Thursday and about 200 were hurt in the violence that flared after a scuffle between students at a
Some pedestrians were beaten up on the basis of their sectarian identity, witnesses said.
The four dead included two Shia pro-Hezbollah students and one supporter of the Sunni-led government.
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, issued a religious edict calling his supporters off the streets.
Saad al-Hariri, the Sunni leader, urged government supporters to show restraint.
Siniora was at an aid conference seeking help to shore up
Jeffrey Feltman, the US ambassador, pointed the finger at
"History has shown that outside powers like
"Nobody should be surprised when things start to spin out of control, when there has been an intentional two- to three-month effort to provoke sectarian tension."
The opposition launched nationwide protests on Tuesday, which shut down much of
Soldiers locked down Lebanon's capital
yesterday after hours of violence [AFP]
The general strike intensified a street campaign that began on December 1, when opposition supporters began camping out near Siniora's offices in central
Siniora and his main backer, parliamentary majority leader al-Hariri, have refused to give in to the demands.