Twenty Students Injured in Bid to March on US Embassy in Beirut
About twenty Lebanese were injured Wednesday when some 2,000 people, mostly students, attempted to surge through barriers to the US embassy in Beirut during a demonstration against American policies in the Middle East, reported the Daily Star newspaper.
The joint US and British air raids near Baghdad last week were the catalyst for the protest, but anti-US chants addressed events in Palestine more than the Iraq bombing, said the paper.
During the two-hour protest, the students clashed with 100 members of the security forces, six of whom were reportedly injured by rock-throwers.
Fifteen students were hospitalized when the protest turned violent, with army, police, civil defense and internal security forces personnel using water cannons and beating demonstrators with batons and rifle butts.
Demonstrators suffered light to moderate injuries, with many receiving cuts to the head. One protester's knee was broken, demonstrators reported.
The students came from Haret Hreik public schools and many branches of the Lebanese University, said the paper.
Their protest shut down many of the campuses.
Demonstrators marched up the hill from Dbayyeh and got as far as a scenic orange grove about 500 kilometers away from the embassy.
They were initially split on whether to hold a peaceful demonstration or try to break past the wall of security personnel, the paper added.
"If we have to occupy the embassy it will be a peaceful occupation and not a militaristic one," said Rabi Idris, head of the student council at LU.
"We just want to get to the embassy and make our voices heard. We want to show (US Ambassador David Satterfield) that we're really angry and that we don't want him here," he said – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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