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Electricite du Liban said Beirut’s southern suburbs are witnessing more power rationing due to repair work on one of the transformers by a western expert. Over a hundred Dahiyeh residents took to the streets to protest power cuts, using burning tires to block a public road leading to Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport for around two hours on Friday in southern suburb of the capital, a Hezbollah stronghold.

The angry mob of 150 resorted to blocking the main roundabout of the Airport Highway with burning tires, reminiscent of the start of Hezbollah’s Beirut siege in May 2008.

Witnesses said that some protesters smashed the glass of a car that was trying to go through the blocked road before they were fended off by the security forces.

According to initial reports, no arrests were made.

EDL also announced that on Sunday it would cut power from several northern regions to provide electricity to areas where polling stations are located.

Other areas could also witness additional power rationing depending on the production capabilities of EDL, the firm said in a statement on Saturday.

Friday was not the first time Hezbollah supporters have resorted to burning tires in protest of electricity outages. In December 2007, Hezbollah supporters also burned rubber tires to protest the power rationing by the Lebanese electricity company in the Hezbollah-controlled suburb. EDL issued a statement earlier in the day notifying citizens of a series of failures that have led to separating power stations from the main network, enforcing a general power failure. The statement, however, pledged that repair works are underway and power distribution would return to normal soon.

Naharnet, Ya Libnan

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