Lebanon's Christian Aoun calls for toppling government

Lebanon's opposition Christian leader General Michel Aoun has called for demonstrations on Wednesday to topple the western-backed government of Premier Fouad Siniora.

Lebanon's Christian Aoun calls for toppling government

Lebanon's opposition Christian leader General Michel Aoun has called for demonstrations on Wednesday to topple the western-backed government of Premier Fouad Siniora and praised the activities of the Islamic group Hezbollah.

Aoun indicated that demonstrating is the right of the Lebanese people, but it was the job of the security forces to control riots.

"Rioting is banned. Security forces are responsible for banning riots, not preventing demonstrations," said Aoun, head of the Free Patriotic Movement.

He was referring to a call by Lebanon's labour unions who are planning demonstrations also on Wednesday to protest the high cost of living in the country.

The Christian leader critized Progressive Socialist Party leader and anti-Syrian MP Walid Jumblatt for having claimed that Hezbollah's communications network has reached Christian areas northeast of Beirut.

Aoun defended his close allies Hezbollah and their private communications network which is scattered across the country.

Lebanon's top prosecutor on Monday began investigating allegations by Jumblatt that the Hezbollah group set up surveillance cameras near the Beirut airport to monitor the comings and goings of anti-Syrian Lebanese politicians and foreign dignitaries.

"Finding a camera on airport road is not a security penetration," Aoun said. "Other roads are full of cameras and they monitor us all the time."

"Jumblatt is factional and bloody," Aoun added.

Judicial officials said Prosecutor General Saeed Mirza ordered the investigation after receiving documents from the country's defense and interior ministers about Hezbollah's alleged placement of the cameras just outside the airport in the Lebanese capital.

The latest crisis erupted when Jumblatt last week accused Hezbollah of placing the cameras around the airport, which is located in the predominantly Shiite southern Beirut suburbs.

Jumblatt went so far as to say Hezbollah was planning assassinations of senior leaders.

Hezbollah has dismissed the allegations and fired its own accusations against Jumblatt.

Jumblatt also called for the expulsion of Iran's ambassador to Beirut and the ending of weekly Iranian commercial flights to Lebanon.

Agencies

Last Mod: 06 Mayıs 2008, 12:00
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