Lebanon's Hariri calls for calm amid violence

Hundreds of angry supporters of Hariri burned tyres and blocked roads in Lebanon on Tuesday in the protest.

Lebanon's Hariri calls for calm amid violence

Lebanon's Saad al-Hariri said on Tuesday he rejected forms of violence and called for calm after his supporters took to the streets in protest against Hezbollah's nomination of Najib Mikati to form a new government.

Hundreds of angry supporters of Hariri burned tyres and blocked roads in Lebanon on Tuesday in the protest.

"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 said.

Protesters set fire to a satellite truck used by the Arab television channel Al Jazeera -- seen by Hariri's supporters as favouring Hezbollah -- and burnt posters of Mikati in the northern city of Tripoli, which he represents in parliament.

In Beirut, protesters blocked a road with burning tyres and overturned garbage containers. A security source said shots were fired in the air and the army intervened, but no one was hurt.

"Majority won"

The protests were part of a "day of anger" called by loyalists of Hariri.

The group and its allies toppled Hariri's government in a dispute over the investigation of his father's killing and won support on Monday for Mikati to replace him.

Mikati secured the crucial backing of Walid Jumblatt and six of the infliential local leader's supporters on Monday, giving him a majority of support among parliament's 128 members.

President Michel Suleiman was due to ask Mikati formally to form a government later on Tuesday.

Mikati called on all Lebanese to show restraint. Lebanon's power-sharing political system calls for the post of prime minister to be held by a Sunni.

Agencies

Last Mod: 25 Ocak 2011, 15:18
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