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UN building stormed amid Lebanon rage over Qana

Angry Lebanese on Sunday stormed the UN building in Beirut in rage at Israel's deadly bombing in Qana.
None | By Agence France Presse, Beirut
PUBLISHED ON JUL 30, 2006 08:05 PM IST

Angry Lebanese protestors on Sunday stormed the building of the United Nations in Beirut, smashing glass doors and hacking at the furniture in rage at Israel's deadly bombing of homes in Qana.

After the violent protest at UN headquarters, thousands of people—some in tears and others shouting angry slogans—converged from both Christian and Muslim areas of the capital on Riad Solh Square where the building is located.

After hearing news of the carnage in Qana that killed 51 people, including 25 children, a group of protestors attacked and briefly occupied the UN House in downtown Beirut where they smashed windows, burned curtains and destroyed furniture.

UN spokesman Khaled Mansour told that about 100 UN staff in the building had sought refuge in an underground basement, and that security personnel were trying to extinguish a fire on the second floor.

A small group of protestors burned an American flag while shouting: 'Death to America'. Activists also waved flags of several parties, including the yellow standard of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group that has met Israeli attacks with fierce resistance for the past 19 days, firing rockets into northern Israel.

Inside, demonstrators smashed the electronic announcement screen positioned at the entrance of the UN premises.

The demonstration in central Beirut calmed down after Hezbollah militants forced protestors to leave the UN House and Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri appealed to them to disperse and not attack any building.

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