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Shi'ite protesters block Beirut airport road

Written by: Staff

BEIRUT, Nov 23 (Reuters) Hundreds of Shi'ite Muslim protesters blocked the main road to Beirut's airport tonight, witnesses said.

The demonstrators took to the road near Beirut's southern suburbs to protest what they said were insults against Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah at the funeral of an assassinated anti-Syrian minister earlier in the day.

''Nasrallah don't worry, your Shi'ites can drink blood,'' they chanted as they marched on the road.

Hezbollah cars with loudspeakers urged the protesters to disperse and go home and its members blocked off nearby streets to stop the protests from spreading.

Hezbollah, backed by Syria and Iran, had threatened to take to the streets to topple the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

Six ministers from Hezbollah and its allies quit the cabinet this month after all-party talks on giving the opposition effective veto power collapsed.

Tens of thousands of people attended the funeral of Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel, who was gunned down on Tuesday.

Reuters SBA VP0156

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