Lebanese burn Xmas tree

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Lebanese riot police fire tear gas towards supporters of the Shiite Hezbollah and Amal groups in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. Supporters of Lebanon’s two main Shiite groups Hezbollah and Amal have clashed with security forces and set fire to cars in Beirut in a third consecutive night of violence in the capital. The unrest early Tuesday apparently was triggered by a video circulating online that shows a man insulting Shiite and religious figures. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

BEIRUT, Dec 18, (Agencies): A mob in Lebanon attacked the office of a Sunni Muslim religious leader in the northern city of Tripoli, smashing in windows early Wednesday, Lebanon’s official news agency and the military said. The assailants then moved to one of the city’s main squares and set fire to the traditional Christmas tree.

The violence indicated that tensions that recently gripped the Lebanese capital, Beirut, fueled by an online video deemed offensive to the country’s Shiite Muslims are spreading to Tripoli, the country’s second-largest city. The city is predominantly Sunni. The military said a mob of men on motorcycles gathered outside the home of Sunni Mufti Sheik Malek al-Shaar and rioted, “used profanity” and smashed property. The mob then moved to the square and threw fire bombs at the Christmas tree, setting it on fire.

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