A late night clash over the seizure of illegal bikes in Beirut's Tariq Jedideh neighborhood left five people wounded and MP Ammar Houri warned Saturday Mustaqbal Movement will not accept punishment while other districts remain off-limits to state authority.
"Why is all that excessive force being used against the residents of this paricular area?" Houri asked in a statement.
"Do turning streets and squares of Tariq Jedideh into war arenas help resolve the issue of illegal bikes?" Houri questioned. Tariq Jedideh "is not above the law," Houri stressed.
"Yet, we will not accept this neighborhood to be punished while other districts remain off-limits to state authority," Houri warned.
Rioters from Tarik Jedideh protested after police and Lebanese army troops set up joint checkpoints late Friday as part of law-enforcement measures to seize illegal motorbikes.
Bike owners, protesting the measure, crowded outside Tariq Jedideh's police station after their motorbikes were handed over to the department.
Violence, including smashing of cars, soon developed, prompting Lebanese army troops to fire shots in the air to disperse the rioters. Tear gas was also used to separate the crowd.
Unrest soon spread to nearby Qasqas where rioters destroyed cars, also prompting army troops to step in, firing shots in the air.