Security Fears Shut Down Roads Near ESCWAإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The roads near the U.N. building in downtown Beirut, ESCWA, were closed and traffic was directed to nearby streets on Friday after reports that the premises could be targeted in an attack similar to the bombings on UNIFIL patrols in the South.
Al-Liwaa daily reported that the road east of the building and another known as the ESCWA tunnel was closed upon a decision by the Internal Security Forces’ head of the Beirut traffic department Brig. Gen. Mohammed al-Ayyoubi.
Al-Liwaa said the decision was taken after the U.N. asked Prime Minister Najib Miqati and Interior Minister Marwan Charbel through U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams to take security measures to protect ESCWA.
The ISF agreed to close the roads for a test period of a week or ten days although it informed Williams that such a step would lead to huge traffic given that the roads near ESCWA are vital for commuters, the daily said.
It added that Beirut municipal chief Dr. Bilal Hamad asked Governor Nassif Qaloush to leave part of the roads open to ease traffic jams.
But LBC TV station said the closure of the roads did not lead to major traffic in the area. Some vehicles and buses carrying foreigners on board were allowed to enter the zone, it added.
ISF members and ESCWA security personnel were deciding whether a vehicle was allowed or forbidden from passing through the blocked roads.