Lebanon annuls anti-Hizbullah decision

Gov't reverses measures which triggered violence that left 54 dead; group rejoices south of Beirut.

shiite gunman beirut 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
shiite gunman beirut 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
A Lebanese minister says the Cabinet has reversed measures against Hizbullah that triggered the worst violence since the country's 15-year civil war. Hizbullah demanded that the government reverse the decisions last week to sack an airport security chief for alleged ties to the Shi'ite group and to declare the militants' private telephone network illegal. Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah said the moves amounted to a declaration of war and shortly after, he unleashed his fighters on the streets of Beirut. The clashes left 54 dead. Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said the Cabinet revoked the decisions "in view of the higher national interest." Seconds after his announcement, celebratory gunfire erupted south of Beirut, a Hizbullah stronghold.