GUNFIRE echoed in Beirut's streets as protesters tried to storm the Lebanese prime minister's office after an emotional funeral for the country's assassinated spy chief triggered a wave of anti-Syrian anger.
The violence began at the end of what had been billed as a protest against Syrian meddling in Lebanon, focused on Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who is seen as an ally of Damascus.
As the funeral for Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan ended, Nadim Koteich, the presenter of a popular Lebanese TV show, grabbed the microphone and shouted: "Mikati will fall down today! We must go to the serail (prime minister's office)."
In minutes about 200 people thronged the nearby offices, shouting "Down with Mikati!"
Rioters threw wooden flag poles at security forces as mobs attacked police cars. Security forces responded with tear gas grenades and shot rounds into the sky as bodyguards scrambled to take politicians to safety. (© The Daily Telegraph, London)