FEATURE - Heavy Traffic Jams In Beirut Suburbs As Roads Blocked By Protesters Again

BYBLOS (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 14th November, 2019) YBYBLOS (Pakistan Point news / Sputnik - 14th November, 2019) LOS, Lebanon, November 13 (Sputnik), Denis Chernyshenko - Lebanon, including its capital of BYBLOS (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 14th November, 2019) eirut, witnessed a serious escalation of tensions on Wednesday, with protesters having again blocked many roads, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene.

Last night, Lebanese President Michel Aoun called on activists to go home, saying that the unrest may result in disastrous consequences. After his speech, protesters blocked roads in several parts of the country, including Beirut. Additionally, a protester was shot dead in the city of Khalde, located south of the Lebanese capital, becoming the first victim in this wave of demonstrations.

The Sputnik correspondent left Beirut early on Wednesday for the city of Byblos, also known as Jbeir, which was founded some 7,500 years ago and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

The distance between Beirut and Byblos is about 25 miles, and the journey usually takes 45 minutes. However, on Wednesday, the trip took about three hours.

The overcrowded bus faced a huge traffic jam when leaving Beirut, as the highway, which connects the capital with the second-biggest city of Tripoli, was cordoned by barricades. The driver tried to use several other routes, but all of them were closed by the protesters, who had used tires and metal structures to block the roads.

The security forces have not tried to deconstruct the barricades, but have instead only tried to manage the traffic to make it less dense and prevent possible accidents.

The driver found a small, unobstructed road and managed to return to the highway, leaving the barricades behind.

However, it was too early to celebrate this small victory as the highway was blocked in several other places: near the settlements of Antelias, Nahr El Kalb, Adonis Kesrouane and Maameltein. Each time, the bus managed to find suitable routes, sometimes via oncoming lanes.

The driver appeared to be very nervous and at some point tried to hit and grip a passenger who had paid a smaller sum by the throat. After realizing that a further scuffle would prove futile, the driver returned to the bus and the trip continued.

Without further incidents, the Sputnik correspondent arrived in Byblos, where the situation is more stable than in Beirut. The magnificent ruins of the ancient city have witnessed the rule of the Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders, Mamluks, Ottomans and French and seem to be capable of overcoming any further difficulties that Lebanon may be face.