'Day of rage': Gunfire, tear gas in streets of Beirut
October 21st, 2012
09:37 AM ET

'Day of rage': Gunfire, tear gas in streets of Beirut

[Updated at 10:25 a.m.] Many protesters are calling for the Lebanese government to be dismissed.

Protesters are furious with Prime Minister Najib Mikati, a billionaire supported by Hezbollah.  Read more here.

[Updated at 10:11 a.m.] Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, on Lebanese TV, said he understands the feeling of anger, but that violence and attempts to enter the Serial - the government palace - are unacceptable.

[Updated at 9:52 a.m.] Much of the violence appears to have died down.  Video from the scene shows most protesters gathered in a square, chanting and waving flags.

The flags indicate many of the protesters are aligned with the March 14 movement,  the anti-Syrian regime coalition that emerged after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. That movement was key in forcing the withdrawal of Syrian troops, which had long occupied neighboring Lebanon and pulled out months after Hariri was killed.

Some protesters accuse Syria of involvement in al-Hassan's assassination.  Syria condemned the blasts very quickly after they happened on Friday.

Read CNN's profile of Wissam al-Hassan here.

Lebanon's former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri - Rafik al-Hariri's son - spoke to al-Jadeed TV, calling on supporters to stay away from the Serail, the government palace.

[Updated at 9:42 a.m.] Tear gas filled streets of Beirut and gunfire could be heard Sunday as furious protesters clashed with police.

Crowds of men - many of them covering their faces with cloths to avoid inhaling the tear gas - wielded sticks and waved flags.  Video showed at least one stick set on fire and tossed over a barrier.

Reports indicated the gunfire may have been authorities shooting into the air in hopes of breaking up the crowds.

Many of the protesters tried to reach the prime minister's office.

The violence came after some politicians had called for Sunday to be a "day of rage" in response to a bombing Friday.

That attack was the country's most high-profile assassination in more than seven years.

Soldiers had carried the flag-draped coffins of  intelligence chief Brig. Gen Wissam al-Hassan and his bodyguard through the streets of downtown Beirut.

Throngs of people had packed the city's central square for the ceremony Sunday.

Friday's attack - in broad daylight, at one of the capital's busiest intersections - left a crater more than a meter deep.

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Cannuck

    Nice to see the CIA/Mossad action working as planned.

    October 21, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Cannuck

      And you must be a typical American that laps up propaganda like a kitty at a milk bowl, no?

      October 21, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Ixion

      Yeah, its a great victory for the Syrian government. They have a man killed and now they have the crazies out blaming the CIA and others for the act..

      See how that works? We can all GUESS at who is behind it, but I don't think any of us really know. This is a twisted situation with lots of "chess" pieces for the "major" powers of the world. It is less important who did it, then ending the hate that feeds this never ending cycle.

      If it where the CIA, such a bombing would not set off this reaction if there where not plenty of problems and hate in the area already.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee-Anne

      Nice to see the tin-hat crowd out making up the typical conspiracy crud.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Cannuck

      Lex –

      What you say it true of course, who knows who is behind it? I do know one thing – freedom and democracy are not the goals of the USA in the middle east, it's maintaining empire and global control. The people suffer as a result.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      Cannuck, I will take western "democracy" instead of Middle Eastern/Asian, any time. I am sure you will too, I know we’re just chitchatting from the comfort of our living rooms.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      Ah yes, the first rule of internet conspiracy theory nut cases. If anything bad happens it is the CIA acting at the behest of their Zionist masters. You don't need any hard evidence to support this. Just spout it off. Now watch, he's going to cite as "sources" some conspiracy theorist / anti semitic websites. In 3...2...1...

      October 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. serious?

    commondreams dot org or democracy now has real information, if they are not perfect.

    October 21, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ixion

    One thing is for sure. In the end, I think hezbollah is about to have a bad bad next couple of weeks. One could only hope the the real people of Lebanon will push these creeps out of the country. Lebanon deserves peace after so much war and they will never have it until these monkeys are pushed out of power and and of the country.

    October 21, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. israel

    for a corporate media network you would expect the editing to be somewhat decent

    "That attack killed the country's most high-profile assassination in more than seven years."

    i didnt realize assassinations were nouns.....cnn please stop butchering the english language

    October 21, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • deep blue

      Assassination is a noun.
      Here is an example: "the assassination shook the nation."
      The article was poorly edited. I suggest both you and the author take a class in English grammar.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • jkavcnn

      Thank you for pointing out the error, the result of haste. The word "killed" has been replaced with "was," so now it makes sense.

      October 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    The politicians called for "A Day Of Rage".
    They certainly got that.

    October 21, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |