Rioters Storm PM's Office After Beirut Funeral
18:58 21/10/2012 MOSCOW/BEIRUT, October 21 (RIA Novosti) - Opposition demonstrators in the Lebanese capital Beirut attempted to storm the prime minister's office building on Sunday, demanding his resignation following the death of the country's intelligence agency in a car bombing on Friday.
Brigadier General Wissam Al-Hassan was killed alongside seven others on Friday when his cortege was blown up by a car bomb on Beirut's Sasin Square in the city's Christian district. At least 80 others were injured.
Sunday's riots took place after the funeral of al-Hassan, who was an opponent of the neighboring Syrian regime, Al Jazeera said.
Police used special riot control equipment including tear gas against the demonstrators, many of whom were waving flags in support of the Sunni Future movement, Syrian rebels and also the Lebanese Christian Forces. Gunshots were also heard close to the demonstration, and local media say there have been injuries.
LBC television, quoting army sources, said additional army forces are on the way to reinforce the security forces at the scene.
Lebanon’s opposition leader Saad Hariri had earlier called on all Lebanese citizens to attend al-Hassan's funeral and hold a "Day of Rage" against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Al-Hassan had investigated the death of Hariri's father, a former Lebanese prime minister, in a huge car bombing seven years ago, Al Arabia reported.
Protests also erupted on Sunday in the Lebanese cities of Sidon and Tripoli, Al Jazeera reported.
Immediately after the Friday attack, the Lebanese opposition March 14 Coalition blamed the government and Prime Minister Najib Mikati and demanded his resignation. Mikati's government is dominated by the Shia Hezbollah party, a close ally of Iran and Syria.
The opposition also blame Syria for planning the attack. The Syrian government is currently engaged in a civil war with a mostly Sunni armed opposition, which has claimed over 25,000 lives.
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