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Protesters in Lebanon clash with police

Thursday - 6/20/2013, 3:58pm  ET

Civil society protesters set up their tent near the Parliament during a demonstration in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, June 20, 2013. Lebanon’s parliament on May 29 extended its term by a year and a half, skipping scheduled elections because of the country’s deteriorating security linked to the civil war next door in Syria. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

BEIRUT (AP) -- Lebanese demonstrators have clashed with police in downtown Beirut during a protest against the extension of parliament's term earlier this month.

Last month, the 128-member parliament extended its term by a year and a half, skipping scheduled elections because of deteriorating security conditions in the country related to the war in Syria.

The demonstrators say the extension was unconstitutional and are calling for the government to hold parliamentary elections originally scheduled for June.

Police used riot batons to beat back protesters who were throwing bottles and trying to break through their lines to reach the parliament building Thursday. A small group of protesters later set up tents near parliament for an open-ended sit-in.

Sectarian clashes tied to Syria's war have broken out with increasing regularity in Lebanon.


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