At Least 3 Are Dead After the Hezbollah-Aoun Riots in Lebanon

Aoun vows to escalate violence!

Naharnet reports: Christian Free Patriotic Movement leader, and Hezbollah supporter, Michel Aoun said the strike organized on Tuesday by the opposition has “succeeded” and vowed more “escalation”.

Media insanity kicks in…
Several mainstream media outlets continue to call the terror acts today a “strike” by the Hezbollah-Aoun thugs…
Like this destruction and violence was just your typical work-stoppage.

A Lebanese supporter of Hezbollah-led opposition parties is seen next to a car set on fire, blocking the road leading to Beirut international airport. Three people were killed and 133 wounded in factional fighting in Lebanon as opposition protestors staged a nationwide strike, blocking roads with burning tires in the latest show of force aimed at ousting the Western-backed government.(AFP/Ramzi Haidar)


Prime Minister Saniora gave a courageous and powerful speech after the Hezbollah-Aoun attacks on Free Lebanon today.
Naharnet reports:

Saniora said the general strike called by the opposition has developed into “provocations that went beyond all limits.”

“Blocking roads…is an aggression on the people and their freedoms. It is an attack on social order and it involves risks that are hidden to nobody.”

However, he stressed that “our hands remain stretched to facilitate dialogue and settle problems and renew confidence between the Lebanese.”

The premier said the March 14 parliamentary majority that supports his government “will not fail to listen to the opinions of others.”

He urged for “quick treatment that would take differences away from the street to be discussed within the framework of legitimate institutions, topped by the parliament.”

Saniora concluded by stressing that “we will always remain together against intimidation. We will be together against internal disputes to safeguard Lebanon.”

…Terror trucks flying Hizbullah flags unloaded tons of debris, dirt and stones in at least 12 spots along the highway leading to Rafik Hariri International airport as army troops watched without trying to prevent them.

A Lebanese soldier clears up burnt tyres from a roadblock in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2006. Opposition protesters paralyzed Lebanon Tuesday, by burning tyres and cars at major thoroughfares in the capital and its approaches, to enforce a general strike that aims to topple the government. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

One AP reporter claims that the “protests” today were meant to be peaceful! Hah!
Via the Toronto Star:

What had been planned as a peaceful work-stoppage turned into the worst violence since the pro-Syrian Hezbollah movement and its allies launched their campaign in November to bring down the U.S.-backed government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora.

In some areas across the country, government supporters confronted the opposition protesters in bouts of stone throwing, fist-fights and even scattered gunfire.

Police said three people were killed and 43 sustained gunshot wounds in clashes in the towns of central and northern Lebanon, including two bodyguards of a prominent pro-government politician.

Giving a breakdown, security officials said one pro-government activist was killed, 23 pro-government supporters were shot and wounded, and 15 opposition activists were hurt.

Since when is barricading streets with burning tires and debris, and forcing people to stay home from work, considered a “peaceful” protest?

And… it’s not like Hezbollah didn’t warn everyone about their plans.

Ya Libnan called it a “siege by hooligans.”

Michael Totten has an excellent roundup on the situation.
From Beirut to the Beltway has more on the planned peaceful protest.

Previously on the riots:
Opposition Strikes Lebanon! Clashes & Casualties Reported!

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