Lebanese forces beat up journo

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iol news pic aFP journo bliksemed AFP Lebanese security forces beat AFP photographer Mahmoud Zayat while he covered a sit-in in southern Lebanon.

Beirut - Lebanese security forces beat an AFP photographer on Thursday while he covered a sit-in in southern Lebanon, the photographer said.

“When the protesters cut off Sidon's main road, a skirmish broke out between those participating in the sit-in and passers-by,” said the photographer, Mahmoud Zayat.

“The security forces intervened in the skirmish,” he said.

“I started to take photos, and they kicked me and beat me with their rifle butts. They also confiscated my camera, but I got it back later.”

Following the incident, a security official told AFP “there will be an investigation into this. Those responsible for it will be held accountable.”

The sit-in in the coastal city was organised by supporters of Sunni Muslim Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir, a fierce critic of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

It was to support Lebanese President Michel Sleiman's complaint to Syria over violations of Lebanese territory and to denounce claims from Damascus about alleged shooting into Syria from Lebanon, arms smuggling and infiltrations. - Sapa-AFP

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