SIDON, Lebanon: Business owners in Sidon briefly blocked a road near the coastal city’s commercial center Thursday to protest against increased security measures in the area.
Vendors gathered in Nijmeh Square and used metal barriers to block the road, to express their anger over what they say is a drop in business.
The Internal Security Forces and the Municipality have recently boosted security measures in Sidon following a series of car bombings nationwide and the discovery of an unexploded car bomb near the city.
The protesters argued that business has slowed after police prevented vehicles from parking in spaces near the commercial centers and market.
Later in the day, the vendors suspended their protest after meeting with Ali Sharif, the head of the Sidon Merchants’ Association.
The meeting produced an agreement to issue identification cards to allow vendors, employees and business owners to park near the center.
They also agreed to a plan to equip parking attendants with bomb-detecting devices, and the setting up of shuttles to transport shoppers between the market and the main street.
The steps are planned to be implemented in coordination with security forces and the municipality.
One day earlier, caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel was obliged to visit Sidon and conduct a “reconciliation” meeting between the ISF and Army Intelligence, due to an inter-agency dispute over security measures at Sidon’s government serail.