U.N. Security Council Urges Lebanese to Avoid ‘Violence’, Hold ‘Dialogue’

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A short Security Council meeting is held about the situation in Libya at United Nations Headquarters Monday, March 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The U.N. Security Council on Monday called for “the peaceful character of the protests” in Lebanon to be upheld after overnight attacks by supporters of Hizbullah and AMAL.

Members “called on all actors to conduct intensive national dialogue and to maintain the peaceful character of the protests by avoiding violence and respecting the right to peaceful assembly in protest,” it said in a statement approved unanimously at the end of a regular council meeting on Lebanon.

They also commended “the role of the Lebanese Armed Forces and other State security institutions in protecting this right.”

The members of the Security Council also noted that “this is a critical time for Lebanon,” stressed the importance of “the timely formation of a new government able to respond to the aspirations of the Lebanese people and to restore the stability of the country within the constitutional framework.”

At around midnight on Sunday, Hizbullah and AMAL Movement supporters attacked protesters at the Ring flyover near the capital’s main protest camp.

Brandishing party flags, they hurled stones at peaceful demonstrators and taunted them with insults as riot police deployed to contain the violence and eventually fired tear gas.

The attackers also ravaged a nearby encampment, tearing down tents and damaging storefronts in their most serious assault on the protesters so far.

At least 10 demonstrators were wounded, according to civil defense.

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