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Tense calm in Lebanon

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 01:20

Oct. 24 - The streets of Beirut and Tripoli are calm after violence flared last week, but residents say they feel tense. Simon Hanna reports.

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The streets of the Lebanese capital Beirut are calm on Wednesday after Friday's car bomb explosion led to clashes in the city. But despite the return to relative normality there are reminders of the violence - the army presence on the streets and banners like this one that reads rest in peace to one of the victims of the blast. Residents say they are still feeling tense. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LEBANESE CITIZEN, RAMEZ HASHASH: "I feel unsafe, I feel insecure, I don't know what to say, I think this country needs some kind of dictatorship or even military government." It was a similar story in Tripoli, where two nights of fighting between Sunnis and Alawites resulted in the deaths of at least 10 people. The sectarian clashes are thought to have spilled over from the conflict in Syria. While a ceasefire was arranged on Tuesday by the army, residents here feel fighting could resume at any moment. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SUNNI CLERIC BILAL AL-MASRI: "Due to the presence of the Syrian regime, Lebanon is in chaos. We consider we are living in a temporary truce, the situation is bad in general in Lebanon." Friday's car bomb killed a top Lebanese security official who had worked to counter Syrian influence in Lebanon. The blast triggered clashes but also a political crisis, with the opposition demanding the resignation of the mostly pro -Damascus government.

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Tense calm in Lebanon

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 01:20