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NOW

Students clash at Saint
Joseph University in Beirut

USJ incident
USJ security
USJ security

BEIRUT - A dispute erupted between pro-Hezbollah and pro-March 14 students at Saint Joseph University’s (USJ) Huvelin campus in Beirut on Monday.

 

The clash began when Hezbollah supporters brought students from other universities to the USJ campus as March 14-affiliated students were celebrating their victory in the student union elections last week, NOW’s correspondent said.

 

Official security sources told the site that Hezbollah supporters were “intending to provoke the March 14-affiliated students [to engage] in a confrontation outside the university campus.”

 

They added that parties from the March 8 coalition participated in “in an undeclared way.”

 

Phone calls were made between political officials in an attempt to “prevent the reoccurrence of such events,” the sources added.

 

Following the disturbance at USJ, the university’s administration stressed the importance of “not introducing politics into the university.”

 

The head of the university’s administration also announced that classes will be suspended at USJ on Tuesday, the National News Agency said.

 

Media outlets had reported that the university closed its doors to prevent the dispute from spreading, and that security forces deployed near the campus.

 

The students called on the university administration to “break the siege” imposed by the security forces, and were allowed to leave the university campus later in the day, according to the NNA.

 

The state news agency also stated that Kataeb bloc MP Sami Gemayel contacted Lebanese Armed Forces Commander General Jean Qahwaji and the university’s director, Father Salim Dakkash, calling on them to “step up to their responsibilities vis-à-vis the provocations that the students are facing.”

 

Gemayel later issued a statement warning of a “big clash” that might take place if the situation remained as it is on the university’s campus.

 

“There is provocation, and [fiery] statements are being uttered. Provocation is unacceptable, especially in Ashrafieh and at USJ,” the Kataeb official told Voice of Lebanon [100.5] radio.

 

“Everyone must assume his responsibilities or else there will be a big clash in Ashrafieh. If this is what it takes, then so be it.”              

Security forces gather at the entrance of USJ in Beirut.

Everyone must assume his responsibilities or else there will be a big clash in Ashrafieh. If this is what it takes, then so be it.