Lebanese, Syrian migrants protest in Beirut roads

Day 2 of a protest over the Lebanese economy and the crisis in Syria unfolded in Beirut’s congested coastal areas Friday as stone-throwing Lebanese and Syrian migrants blocked roads to demand greater economic opportunities, the Associated Press reported.

Syrian immigrants and other marginalized and low-paid workers organized a new political party to draw attention to Lebanon’s economic plight, the conflict in Syria and their legal status in the country.

Shooting rang out in the streets of the coastal city of Tripoli as protesters blocked a major road, with one of them being arrested. In eastern Bekaa Valley, security forces carried out house-to-house searches and detained around 30 Syrians, according to official statements.

Friday’s demonstrations highlight tensions in Lebanon, which has been unable to find a politically stable solution to its bloody conflicts with Syrian president Bashar Assad and Palestinian militants. Even as the two young economies of Lebanon and the Palestinian territories remain firmly in crisis, Lebanon’s fragile coalition government has been unable to resolve tensions over cross-border violence between Israel and Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite party that is backed by Iran.

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