Aoun’s Supporters Protest against Syrians, Clash with Lebanese Army
For the second day running, members of a Lebanese opposition group demonstrated in Beirut Tuesday, demanding that Syrian troops leave the country.
Dozens of supporters of a mainly student organization led by the exiled former Christian army commander, Michel Aoun, marched in front of the national museum, chanting anti-Syrian slogans.
At least three people were injured as the Lebanese army moved firmly to break up the demonstration.
The troops first told the crowd of around 300 demonstrators at the military court to disperse then charged them.
The demonstrators fled amid blows from rifle butts and truncheons, and bursts from water cannon.
One young man and two girls were injured and taken to hospital, one of the demonstrators said.
The soldiers then chased the protestors through neighboring streets. Many were students demonstrating for greater freedom, and were carrying a black coffin bearing the word "rights."
Most were supporters of Aoun, who is in exile in France, and were aiming to protest against the arrest and detention of a dozen colleagues since Thursday.
Police Monday broke up a group of Aoun supporters protesting at the arrest of two students who had been giving out leaflets critical of the pro-Syrian stance of the Lebanese governemnt.
Five demonstrators were taken in for questioning by police, including Aoun's nephew, and a number were wounded by the security forces.
Of the 12 previously arrested, five are due in court Wednesday, and another three have been let off with a 200 dollar fine, Aoun supporters said.
Aoun and his supporters are opposed to Syria's presence.
In a BBC interview, Aoun denied instigating the demonstrations but said he supported them. Speaking from Paris, he added that confrontations were started by government forces.
He added that Syria was more dangerous than Israel and again called for Syrian forces to leave Lebanon – (Several Sources)
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