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Wednesday, December 06, 2006 

Lebanese Army chief: the country is on the verge of violence

The head of the Lebanese Army says politicians have got to find a solution to the standoff in Beirut.

Thousands of protestors have been camping outside Parliament demanding the Prime Minister resign. He is trapped inside the building with a few ministers. Now, protestors have started using a new technique: shining very powerful floodlights into the windows. Not only are they trapped, but they can't even open the curtains.

On Sunday, one protestor was killed by pro-government thugs in a Sunni area. 22 others were injured. Michel Suleiman, army chief, says something needs to be done.

"The absence of political solutions, along with the recurring security incidents, particularly those with sectarian tinge, drains the army's resources and weakens its neutrality, this weakness will make the army unable to control the situation in all areas of Lebanon," said Michel Suleiman.

The message: if Siniora insists on staying in his cosy Parliament building, and refuses to re-open talks, there may be a civil war.

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