Conflicting Reports on Arrest of Man who Cursed Nasrallahإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Conflicting media reports emerged Thursday on whether or not the army's Intelligence Directorate had arrested a man who cursed Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on live TV.
Some media reports said army intelligence agents arrested the man, identified as Ali Abdul Rahim Shamas, on drug-related charges.
But several TV networks later said that the Intelligence Directorate has denied "media reports about the Intelligence Directorate's arrest of certain individuals following the removal of the violations in the Hay el-Sellom area."
The man in question had railed at Nasrallah on Wednesday when police raided and removed unlicensed street structures, including his, in Beirut's southern suburb of Hay el-Sellom.
The man had spilled his anger on TV when reporters interviewed him together with other angry residents.
The move has caused a rare public expression of anger in a stronghold of Hizbullah.
The raid was carried out by the Internal Security Forces, which used bulldozers to take down shacks where vendors mainly sold coffee and mobile phones.
Dozens of angry residents poured into the streets, burning tires and blocking some roads to prevent the police from approaching their properties.
The protest turned against Hizbullah, which had promoted the campaign against violators. In an usual move, some took their grievances to live TV, demanding compensation from Hizbullah and even cursing the group's leader Nasrallah.
Public displays of anger against Hizbullah in Lebanon are rare, especially in the group's strongholds.