Lebanese soldiers in armored vehicles fanned out across the country on Monday to break down civilian roadblocks and chase gunmen off the streets as tempers flared over the killing of a top intelligence official who was a powerful opponent of Syrian involvement in Lebanon.
Sectarian clashes killed at least six people. A seventh person was killed after soldiers returned fire following an attack on their patrol.
The killing of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan in a Beirut car bomb on Friday sparked days of tensions, accusations and violence in Lebanon between supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his opponents. Al-Hassan was solidly in the latter group, and his supporters, many of them Sunni Muslims, blamed Damascus for the killing.
Many also called for the resignation of the Hezbollah-dominated government, saying it is too cozy with the Syrian regime.
In Washington, the State Department said it was worried about the violence in Lebanon and that the U.S. was sending an FBI team to help investigate the bombing.
“We’ve been clear for some time about the possible spillover effect from the conflict in Syria,” spokesman Mark Toner said Monday. – AP