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Protests, violence erupt in Lebanon


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Video at the [UK] Guardian:

Gunmen are roaming the streets of the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Monday as sectarian tensions increase. Protesters camped outside the prime minister Najib Mikati's residence in the city on Sunday night, calling for his resignation. Violent clashes broke out in downtown Beirut on Monday after the funeral of security chief Wissam al-Hassan, who was assassinated on Friday.

An Associated Press report provides additional context:

Lebanese troops launched a major security operation on Monday to open all roads and force gunmen off the streets, trying to contain an outburst of violence set off by the assassination of a top intelligence official who was a powerful opponent of Syria. Sectarian clashes killed at least five people.

Opponents of Syria have blamed the regime in Damascus for the killing of Lebanese Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan in a Beirut car bomb on Friday. With Lebanon already tense and deeply divided over the civil war next door, the assassination has threatened to drag the country back into the kind of sectarian strife that plagued it for decades - much of it linked to Syria.

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