Middle East News
Anti- and pro-Assad protesters clash in Beirut
Jul 24, 2011, 20:47 GMT
Beirut - A clash erupted Sunday evening in Beirut between supporters and opponents of the neighbouring Syrian regime, prompting the Lebanese army to intervene to disperse the crowd, a witness told the German Press Agency dpa.
Two protests, one chanting slogans in support of the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the other against it, took place simultaneously near the airport road at the outskirts of the capital Beirut.
The two sides used batons and rocks in the confrontation, which prompted the Lebanese army to intervene to disperse both protests.
The pro-Assad demonstrators were carrying Syrian and Iranian flags and pictures of Assad, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah chief Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah. The anti-Syrian regime protesters were carrying posters denouncing the massacres being committed by security forces in various cities in Syria.
More than 1,480 civilians and 365 security personnel have been killed since pro-democracy protests erupted in Syria in mid-March, human rights groups said.
Cars with pictures of Assad and his main Lebanese ally, Nasrallah, roamed the streets of the capital shortly after the clashes erupted.
Syria and Iran are the main backers of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah.
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