Lebanon: Hariri denounces violence

2011-01-25 15:03

Beirut - Outgoing Lebanese premier Saad Hariri denounced on Tuesday violent incidents that erupted during protests by his supporters against the appointment of a Hezbollah-backed candidate to head the new government.

Demonstrators in Sunni Muslim stronghold Tripoli attacked and burned a car of Al-Jazeera television, and ransacked the office of a rival MP.

In a televised speech, Hariri thanked "every free citizen ... who has denounced the attempts of hegemony over our national decisions".

"But it is also my duty to express my total rejection of all forms of rioting and acts of law-breakers who have accompanied these demonstrations.

"I deeply regret the attack against the vehicle of Al-Jazeera," he said.

The appointment as premier of Hezbollah-backed Najib Mikati has angered many Lebanese, including Sunnis. They see it as an attempt by the Shi'ite party to impose its will on Lebanon, which has been plunged into political turmoil over a UN probe into the murder of Hariri's father.