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Turkish fury over Lebanon troop deployment

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Turkish fury over Lebanon troop deployment


There is widespread concern and anger in mainly Muslim Turkey over Ankara’s decision to send troops to Lebanon.

For a second day, demonstrators gathered near government buildings, worried Turkish soldiers would end up serving US and Israeli interests.

Hundreds of protesters clashed with riot police, who responded with tear gas. Dozens of people were arrested.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, but stressed Turkish troops will not be disarming Hizbollah.

“We are aware of our historic and humanitarian responsibilities in the area and it is for that reason that we have taken the requests of Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora and Secretary-General Annan into consideration,” he said.

EU candidate country Turkey has come under pressure from Brussels and the US to contribute to the force as one of the few nations with a large Muslim population to have good relations with Israel.

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