Sunday, October 21, 2012

Violence erupts in Beirut after assassinated intelligence chief's funeral

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Violence erupted in downtown Beirut on Sunday as protesters tried to storm the offices of Prime Minister Najib Mikati after the funeral of an assassinated intelligence chief whose death they blame on Syria.

Security forces shot into the air and police fired tear gas to repulse the hundreds of protesters who overturned barriers and threw stones and steel rods, witnesses said.

The clashes fed into a growing political crisis in Lebanon linked to the civil war in neighboring Syria.

An angry crowd had marched on the prime minister's office after politicians at the funeral of Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan, who was killed by a car bomb on Friday, called on Mikati to resign over the killing.