Several thousand Shi'ite Muslims enraged by a TV comedy that mocked the leader of Hizbullah took to the streets of southern Beirut on Thursday night, burning car tires and blocking roads - including the highway to Lebanon's international airport, police and witnesses said.
The trouble began shortly after a TV show on Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. - a privately-owned Christian channel - aired in which an actor spoofed Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, wearing the Hizbullah leader's trademark black turban and sported a similar beard and spectacles.
Hundreds of Hizbullah supporters immediately went out into the streets of southern Beirut, the stronghold of Hizbullah. They carried pictures of Nasrallah and shouted words of support. They also blocked the road to the airport, but officials there said the country's only air facility remained open.