Icy Standoff on the Slopes of Mount Lebanon
Photo blog by Alia Haju
Scores of residents of the popular Lebanese skiing area of Kfardebian blocked a convoy Thursday led by prominent Salafi cleric, Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir and his supporters, who were headed to a ski resort.
Farid Haykal al-Khazen, a member of Parliament from the area, defended the protesters' actions against the Salafis, dismissing Assir's trip as a "political show."
"Assir is welcome in the area by himself, or with his family, but not for political posturing," Khazen told Lebanese news channel MTV from the site of the protest.
Vice President of the opposition Kataeb party accused Assir of "provoking strife" in the area by bringing with him "500 partisans."
The motorcade of around 400 people was allowed to pass nearly four hours later, after Interior Minister Marwan Charbel called on protesters to clear the way and security forces were deployed to the area.