In a televised address to the Lebanese nation, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora denied that his government was at war with Shia movement Hezbollah but condemned its efforts to take over west Beirut.
"Your state will not fall under the control of the putschists," Siniora said in a televised address to the Lebanese. It was his first response since Hezbollah and allied fighters routed pro-government gunmen in west
Hezbollah's takeover, a blow to U.S. policy, left Siniora's government reeling and strengthened Hezbollah's position as the most powerful group in Lebanon after a 17-month power struggle with the governing coalition.
He reiterated a proposal already rejected by Hezbollah for resolving the crisis, which erupted this week into the worst internal strife since the 1975-90 civil war. At least 25 people have been killed and 60 wounded.
Five gunmen died in clashes on Saturday east of
On the streets of
Traffic was thin as many residents stayed at home.
A few shops reopened after the army deployed in several areas but did not interfere with Hezbollah guerrillas, who in turn stayed away from main government installations in
Hezbollah took control of Muslim west
Christian districts in east
Hariri is a son of the late Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, whose assassination three years ago began the worst turmoil since the 1975-1990 civil war, which split
Hezbollah's show of military might is alarming the West and its Sunni Arab allies who fear
The fighting erupted after the government said it was taking legal action against Hezbollah's military communications network on grounds it was illegal.
Hezbollah, its prestige enhanced in the region after it stood its ground in a war with
The anti-Syria ruling coalition said the "armed and bloody coup" was aimed at increasing
The crisis has paralysed political decisions, left
Date created : 2008-05-10