Oct. 22 - Police in Lebanon clash with protesters trying to storm the offices of Prime Minister Najib Mikati after the funeral of an assassinated intelligence chief. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) A wounded woman was carried from the scene of violence in Beirut on Sunday (October 21), as protesters tried to storm the offices of Prime Minister Najib Mikati after the funeral of an assassinated intelligence chief. Security forces shot into the air and police fired tear gas to disperse the hundreds of protesters who overturned barriers and threw stones and steel rods, witnesses said. The clashes fed into a growing political crisis in Lebanon linked to the civil war in neighbouring Syria. An angry crowd had marched on the prime minister's office after politicians at the funeral of Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan, who was killed by a car bomb on Friday (October 19), called on Mikati to resign over the killing. The opposition and its supporters believe Mikati is too close to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Lebanese ally Hezbollah, which is part of Mikati's government. Many of the protesters waved flags from the anti-Syrian opposition Future Movement - a mainly Sunni Muslim party - and Christian Lebanese Forces as well as black Islamist flags. Mikati said on Saturday he had offered to resign to make way for a government of national unity but he had accepted a request by President Michel Suleiman to stay in office to allow time for talks on a way out of the political crisis.