Rare public anger at Hezbollah after crackdown on peddlers
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Rare public anger at Hezbollah after crackdown on peddlers

Beirut residents block streets, burn tires to prevent bulldozers knocking down shacks of unlicensed vendors

Still from video of unrest in Beirut after crackdown on illegal street vendors on October 25, 2017. (Screen capture: Twitter)
Still from video of unrest in Beirut after crackdown on illegal street vendors on October 25, 2017. (Screen capture: Twitter)

BEIRUT — A police raid against unlicensed street vendors in Beirut’s southern suburbs has caused a rare public expression of anger in a stronghold of the militant Hezbollah group.

The raid early Wednesday in the Hay el-Sellom neighborhood was carried out by internal security forces, which used bulldozers to take down shacks where vendors mainly sold coffee and mobile phones.

Dozens of angry residents poured into the streets, burning tires and blocking some roads to prevent the police from approaching their properties.

The protest turned against Hezbollah, which had promoted the campaign against violators. In an usual move, some took their grievances to live TV, demanding compensation from Hezbollah and even cursing the group’s head, Hassan Nasrallah.

Public displays of anger against the Shiite group in Lebanon are rare.

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