Posted by: sean | February 17, 2007

Back in tense Beirut

I’m back in Beirut after some time in Spain and France over the winter holidays. Things are a but tense but not too bad. I came in late at night on the 14th, the day of the Hariri memorial and the day after the bus bombings.

I was happy to see that the Hariri memorial, which was right next to the opposition sit-in, went off without any clashes. (Not least because I didn’t want to get stuck at the airport in case the roads were closed.)

Besides that, people are pretty skittish. I’ve heard on numerous accounts (some from UNRWA employees) that during the clashes last month, there were checkpoints by various groups (not always official) where identity cards were checked to see what sect everyone belonged to. Although I can’t confirm it, I’ve had one account that the Lebanese Forces (Christian leader Geagea’s militia) were armed and manning checkpoints not far from Saida. There have been reports coming from Hezbollah that the Lebanese Forces have been rearming, which is not a good sign.


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