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Lebanon: Protests After Beirut Bomb Blast
Protesters in Lebanon have burned tyres and set up roadblocks amid growing anger over a car bomb that killed eight people, including one of the country's top security officials.
There are fears that the devastating attack threatens to bring Syria's civil war to Lebanon.
Lebanese troops stood guard at road junctions and official buildings in the capital Beirut as the Lebanese cabinet held an emergency meeting to decide on what, if any, action to take.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati later said the blast was linked to the civil war in neighbouring Syria and revealed that he had agreed to stay on as premier at President Michel Sleiman's request because of "national interest".
Among the victims of the Beirut blast was Brigadier General Wissam al Hassan, head of a Lebanese intelligence department and an opponent of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
Brig-Gen al Hassan, 47, headed an investigation over the summer that led to the arrest of former information minister Michel Samaha, one of Mr Assad's most loyal allies in Lebanon.
Mr Samaha, who is in custody, is accused of plotting a campaign of bombings and assassinations to spread sectarian violence in Lebanon at Syria's behest.
Also indicted in the August sweep was Syrian Brigadier General Ali Mamlouk, one of Mr Assad's highest aides.
Dozens were left wounded in the blast in Beirut's mainly Christian Achrafieh neighbourhood.
Lebanon's fractious politics are closely entwined with Syria's.
The countries share political and sectarian ties and rivalries, often causing events on one side of the border to have a "knock on" effect on the other.
Lebanon's opposition is an anti-Syrian bloc, while the prime minister and much of the government are pro-Syrian.
The civil war in Syria has laid bare Lebanon's sectarian tensions as well.
Many of Lebanon's Sunni Muslims have backed Syria's mainly Sunni rebels, while Shi'ite Muslims have tended to back Mr Assad.
Brig-Gen al Hassan was a Sunni whose stances were widely seen to oppose Syria and Shi'ite Hezbollah, the country's most powerful ally in Lebanon.