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Lebanese leader calls for war

Feb. 11, 2008 at 2:37 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Gunbattles broke out throughout Lebanon following statements by socialist leader Walid Jumblatt threatening war, a police official said.

"If you want anarchy, you are welcome. If you want war, we welcome war,'' Jumblatt said at a rally Sunday following the postponement of the presidential elections.

Former Lebanese President Emile Lahoud left office in November without naming a successor and analysts see Lebanon teetering on the worst political crisis since the 1975-90 civil war.

A spokesman for the speaker of parliament said gunmen loyal to Jumblatt fired on the speakers' residence in Beirut Sunday.

Police officials reported minor injuries from the gunfire and said more shooting erupted later at Jumblatt's Progressive Sociality Party office, the Alalam satellite television station reported Monday.

Jamblatt also said he did not fear Hezbollah.

"We have no problem with weapons, and no problems with rockets. We will take your rockets from you,'' Jumblatt threatened.

The deputy head of Hezbollah's political faction called Jumblatt's comments "madness," saying the statement was on par with an "ant threatening the lion."

Beirut marks the third anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri Thursday.

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