Youth burn tires as they block the City Sportive highway in Beirut to protest the blockade imposed on Arsal, Tuesday, March 18, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Officials struggled Tuesday to contain fallout over a makeshift blockade of Arsal, as residents of a neighboring village closed the main thoroughfare into the northern town and urged it to clamp down on Syrian rebel activity.One person was killed as angry demonstrators blocked several roads throughout Lebanon Tuesday evening in protest of what they called the siege imposed on Arsal by residents of Labweh after the latter cut off its vital "artery". Labweh residents used sand barriers to block the only highway connecting Arsal to the valley and Beirut following repeated rocket attacks on the Bekaa Valley town. Most of the attacks on Labweh and other predominantly Shiite towns in the area were claimed by militant Islamist groups linked to the armed Syrian opposition, citing Hezbollah's role in Syria.Labweh's mayor, Ramez Amhaz, has urged residents of Arsal to cooperate with the state to clear the town of Syrian rebels.Prominent Arsal residents are working on a compromise that would see the Army deploy in the areas where Syrian rebels are allegedly firing rockets at Labweh.
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