Tags: hezbollah hariri lebanon

Lebanon in Chaos as Sunnis Challenge Hezbollah

Tuesday, 25 January 2011 03:32 PM

Supporters of ousted Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri clashed with troops in Sunni strongholds today as his replacement took office, completing what Hariri said was a coup d'etat against him, The Guardian reports.

Street rallies in Hariri's heartland of Tripoli and Sidon became standoffs with the Lebanese army as Najib Miqati was sworn in as Lebanon's new prime minister. There have been no reported deaths, and by nightfall the army said that both areas had been contained.

Earlier today, the vanquished Hariri and the man being widely hailed as the victor, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, both made live addresses appealing for calm as the worst political crisis in Lebanon for three years threatened to stoke ever-present sectarian grudges.

Hariri threatened to boycott the new government by staying in opposition. "Me and my allies, we will represent the opposition," he said. told the New York Times. "What has happened is virtually a coup d'etat, a political coup d'etat." Such a move could leave Lebanon's Sunni Muslims without a prominent voice in a political dynamic where Sunnis, Shias and Christians are allocated senior positions according to sect.

It would also further startle the Sunni Arab world and the US, which have threatened to claw back financial support in the wake of what they describe as a "takeover" of Lebanon. Tonight, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said a Hezbollah-run government would "have a clear impact" on ties with the US, which had strongly backed Hariri.

Read the entire story at guardian.uk

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Tuesday, 25 January 2011 03:32 PM
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