TRIPOLI/SIDON: Lebanese in several parts of the country blocked roads and vented their frustration over a car bombing in Beirut Friday that killed a top security official who opposed Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Tensions were particularly high in the north of the country, where the Army bolstered its presence to contain any possible escalation by the protesters.
Angry residents in Tripoli blocked roads around the city over the assassination of Maj. Gen. Wissam Hasan , the head of the police’s Information Branch, as the military the military deployed reinforcements in the area.
A hand grenade was also tossed in Baal Darawish in the anti-Assad neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh, prompting its residents to fire random shots in the direction of their rivals of Jabal Mohsen, ardent supports of Assad.
The neighborhoods have engaged in sporadic clashes on several occasions over the crisis in Syria. The fighting between the two has left scores of people dead.
Hasan, 47, hailed from Hasan from Btouratji, north Lebanon, and was killed by a car bomb that ripped through the Beirut suburb of Ashrafieh earlier in the day.
In the southern coastal city of Sidon, angry protesters blocked roads while a branch of the Future Movement, which is headed by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, announced it would hold a general strike Saturday over Hasan’s killing.
The bomb that killed Hasan claimed the lives of seven others, including his driver, and wounded at least 90 others, in the first car bombing to occur in the capital since 2008.
The explosion has raised fears of a possible return to political assassinations that plagued the country between 2004 and 2008.
The capital also tension over the security official’s killing, particularly in the Beirut neighborhood of Tariq al-Jadidah and Verdun where protesters burned tires and blocked roads.
The government, which said it was in a state of alert over the blast, said one day of mourning would be held over Hasan’s killing.