BEIRUT: A group of people from the Chouf village of Khaldeh blocked the highway between Beirut and south Lebanon Friday to prevent a convoy of trucks from transporting diesel to Syria.
Three of the trucks, which were taking fuel from the Zahrani refinery, drifted to the sides of the highway and were severely damaged.
In the south, supporters of Sheikh Ahmad Assir gathered briefly in the village of Abra, east of Sidon, obstructing the road in order to stop trucks from leaving the area.
Security forces later managed to persuade the group to disperse in order to prevent tensions.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati commented on the recent uproar caused by the exporting of diesel to Syria: “I’m surprised by the uproar caused by some groups over the export of diesel to Syria.”
“The U.N. has not banned trade between Lebanon and Syria,” Mikati told reporters at the Grand Serail.
Earlier this week, protesters gathered on roads in two border towns in north Lebanon to prevent tanker trucks from transporting diesel into Syria.
The demonstrators claimed that the fuel was going to be used by the Syrian government in Damascus to crack down on those opposed to President Bashar Assad and his regime.
Protesters from the north also mobilized earlier this week to block roads on a daily basis for the same cause.
The drivers of 20 transport trucks carrying diesel were advised against entering the city of Tripoli Thursday in order to avoid encountering problems with protesters that were obstructing the roads, according to a security source.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 16, 2013, on page 2.