MASNAA, Lebanon: A fistfight broke out Tuesday on the Masnaa border crossing between Lebanon and Syria, involving protesters against the arrest of a sheikh and owners of customs clearance offices. The scuffle erupted after members of the “Muslims Without Frontiers” organization set up tents on the side of the Masnaa Road, the lane leading to Damascus, in protest of last week’s arrest of Sheikh Hasan Ali by the Army when weapons were found in his possession in the Bekaa village of Bireh. The group threatened to block both lanes of the road if the detainee was not released, along with workers in a print house arrested by the Army Monday. But after negotiations with prominent figures from Majdal Anjar, the organization decided to block the road only to hold afternoon prayers. A quarrel broke out between the protesters and owners of customs clearance offices when the demonstrators refused to open the road after the prayers.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 03, 2012, on page 3.