Ahead of the funeral today of an anti-government campaigner in Lebanon, demonstrators have maintained a fourth night of protest in Beirut. As the body of the Shi’ite, who was shot in a Sunni Muslim district, was carried to the protest site there were reports of clashes between rival groups elsewhere in the city. The largely pro-Syrian and Hizbollah-supporting protestors want the western-backed coalition to resign.
Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has condemned the killing and ordered an inquiry. His own anti-Syrian supporters have staged counter-demonstrations and there are fears that with tensions soaring widespread clashes could erupt. “There are also other groups which can mobilise people in the streets but this is not a compeitition of large numbers and this is not the way to communicate,” Siniora said.
Security has been stepped up across the capital as the country goes through its worst period of internal tensions since the end of the civil war in 1990.