Riots Explode in Beirut
I found this article in the StarTribune today (Jan. 26th, A3). On Thursday, university students in Beirut, Lebanon escalate a "lunchroom brawl" into a full-blown riot that leaves four people dead and 150 injured. The violence sparked from tensions between students who support the Western-backed Lebonese government and those who support the Iranian-backed Hezbollah. The animostity had been increasing since Tuesday when Hezbollah leaders called for a strike to protest a gathering of donar nations in Paris. The $7.6 billion promised at the gathering will go to support the Lebonese government and Prime Minister Fuad Saniora. Army troops were able to disperse the riots and called for the first curfew to be implemented in Beirut since 1996. Each side blames the other for the violence despite the fact that both Prime Minister Saniora and Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah have urged thier supporters to allow security forces to step in.
This article does a good job of reporting on the specific occurence in Beirut, but also ties it in with how theses tensions impact other nations. A side note to the article gives a brief list of the major donars supporting Prime Minister Saniora (United States, France, European Union, Saudi Arabia) and the amount of thier donations. It becomes clear to the reader that the violence stems from tensions between the United States and Iran as well as Sunni and Shiite Arab nations.
I read another article on this on the New York Times website.http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Lebanon.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin This article offers the same basic information as the Strib article, but goes into more detail about how leaders are trying to stop the violence. The Times states that both sides want to prevent civil war and this article makes reference to previous conflicts in Lebanon. The Strib article uses the words "curfew" and "university" in its headline, but doesnt really focus on the aftermath of the riots. The Times article gives more of an overview on how Beirut is cleaning up after the violence and how the university is dealing with the situation.
I think both articles pick up where the other one lacks. The Strib article gives more information on how the riots impact western support of the Lebonese government and the response from Hezbollah to that support. The Times article gives the reader a sense of what is happening in Beirut now and what the different factions plan to do to keep the peace. I think a combination of sections from each article would make for a more comprehensive story.