Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lebanese attack US embassy convoy

Source: Press TV

A group of angry Lebanese youths have attacked a group from the US embassy in Beirut with stones and bottles, calling them criminals and Israelis.

A spokesman for the US mission confirmed the incident occurred on Saturday when the US embassy staff were visiting the southern port town of Sidon.

He said the embassy employees were on a tourism trip in Sidon, and the group returned back to the embassy without any injuries, giving no more details.

"A group of youths intercepted a US embassy delegation as they left a restaurant and insulted them before throwing stones and empty glass bottles at them," AFP quoted a Lebanese security official as saying.

Lebanese media reports said the American embassy's political charge d'affaires was also accompanying the team.

The youths said the US embassy employees are "criminals, Israelis" who "have soiled the land of resistance and martyrs."

Lebanese security forces accompanying the US group intervened, but stones continued to be thrown, breaking car windows. The army then arrived and booked three of the attackers, according to the security official.

Protesters later staged a sit-in protest in Sidon to demand the release of those arrested in connection with the attack.

Osama Saad, head of the Nasserite Popular Movement, described the detained men as "heroes," and called for their immediate release.

"They were trying to protest against the positions of the United States, with Israel, against Lebanon and US interference in Lebanon's internal affairs," Saad argued.

A group of men blocked roads into the city with burning tires, but were dispersed by army forces after an hour.

Anti-US sentiments have been on the rise in Lebanon, especially in the south of the country following the 2006 war Israel waged on Lebanon, and amid unrelenting violation of the country's airspace and land by the Israeli army almost on a daily basis.

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