Deadly Violence Erupts in Beirut

Riots, gun battles in Hezbollah districts
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2008 5:02 AM CST
Lebanon's Prime Minister Fuad Siniora appealed for calm Sunday after violence erupted in Hezbollah controlled districts of Beirut.(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Street protests over power cuts erupted yesterday into deadly violence in Hezbollah strongholds in Beirut with several people killed or wounded—some by sniper fire—as youths torched cars. The Lebanese army mobilized to stop the violence from spreading to Sunni and Christian neighborhoods, reports AFP.  Fears of more civil unrest continued as Lebanon struggled to break a constitutional impasse over electing a new president.

Hezbollah is spearheading a move against the ruling coalition, which blamed yesterday's violence on the opposition, charging Syria and Iran with manipulating the situation. The riots were the worst in a year. "This is an hour of sadness. Our country is passing through the most dangerous times," said prime minister Fuad Siniora. "I call on all the people to put their trust in the army."