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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

[Lebanon] Saniora Wants Extraordinary Session to Contain Mounting Violence

Saniora Wants Extraordinary Session to Contain Mounting Violence
Premier Fouad Saniora called for an urgent parliamentary session to discuss the deteriorating security situation after mushrooming riots between anti and pro-government factions claimed three lives and wounded 62 people on Tuesday.
Saniora told a news conference "I demand an immediate extraordinary meeting by the parliament to settle issues within the constitutional institutions."
Saniora said the general strike called by the opposition has developed into "provocations that went beyond all limits."
"Blocking roads…is an aggression on the people and their freedoms. It is an attack on social order and it involves risks that are hidden to nobody."
However, he stressed that "our hands remain stretched to facilitate dialogue and settle problems and renew confidence between the Lebanese."
The premier said the March 14 parliamentary majority that supports his government "will not fail to listen to the opinions of others."
He urged for "quick treatment that would take differences away from the street to be discussed within the framework of legitimate institutions, topped by the parliament."
Saniora concluded by stressing that "we will always remain together against intimidation. We will be together against internal disputes to safeguard Lebanon."
Saniora's news conference followed daylong confrontations between anti and pro-government factions throughout Lebanon which security sources said killed three people and wounded 50.
"Two people were killed in clashes in the northern city of Tripoli, and a third person was killed in Batroun," also in the north, a senior police official said.
Security sources told Naharnet most of the casualties suffered bullet wounds in the running confrontations that spread across most of the country after the army and security forces failed to re-open roads blocked by the Hizbullah-led opposition.

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