A Lebanese soldier speaks to a motorist as the army blocks the road leading to the Parliament in Beirut, Tuesday, April 1, 2014. (The Daily Star/Grace Kassab)
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Roads in Beirut's Downtown were blocked Tuesday for the first day of a three-day Parliament session, causing traffic jams, enraging motorists and debilitating nearby businesses.Banks Street closed to motorists at 7 a.m. and remained closed until the end of the first legislative session in the late afternoon, with security forces cordoning off the perimeter of Downtown. Roads were also closed leading to Riad Solh Square, and a roadblock was set up by the An-Nahar building on the other side of Downtown.Closure of roads in central Beirut is common when Lebanon's Parliament meets, with many of the roads that pass through Downtown blocked off by security forces in a bid to minimize the possibility of terrorist attacks and political assassinations, making life hellish for the city's commuters. "It's a joke," said Mohammad, 30, stuck in traffic on the road leading from Riad Solh to the Mohammad al-Amin Mosque.One gentleman was so visibly frustrated by security forces blocking his way to work that he refused to take an alternate route, instead slowly easing his car forward into the barricade of Army soldiers blocking the road next to the An-Nahar building.
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