AMAL Urges Supporters to Stop Street Protests

The AMAL Movement on Thursday urged its supporters not to organize any street protests, after the Free Patriotic Movement accused AMAL supporters of firing weapons in the air overnight in the town of Hadath, an FPM bastion.

“The movement thanks all those who have expressed their condemnation and solidarity after the insulting remarks that were voiced against Speaker Nabih Berri,” AMAL said in a statement.

And noting that “spontaneous motorized protests have led to some altercations that do not reflect the movement's image and stance,” AMAL called on its supporters to “halt any street action in order not to give an alibi to those seeking to deviate attention from the main issue.”

Several protests some of which involved road-blocking and rioting were organized across Lebanon over the past three days after the emergence of a leaked video showing FPM chief Jebran Bassil calling Berri a "thug" during a closed meeting in Batroun.

The footage drew the ire of Berri's aides and political allies, who lashed out at Bassil, with Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil calling the foreign minister “lowly” and a “political dwarf.”

The video comes amid an escalating dispute between Berri and President Michel Aoun over a decree granting one-year's seniority to a number of army officers.

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