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Poster of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman burnt in Lebanon as regional tensions rise

Hariri's resignation came as tensions rise between Riyadh and Tehran [Twitter]

Date of publication: 13 November, 2017

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A video has emerged in Lebanon of a crowd burning a poster of Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as relations between the two countries worsens.

A video has emerged from Lebanon showing unknown assailants burning a poster of Saudi Arabia's powerful crown prince as relations are tense between the two countries.

The short clip, which was filmed in the northern city of Tripoli, was uploaded to social media over the weekend and has provoked an angry response from the country's minister of interior.

"Acts such as this do not reflect the true feelings of the residents of Tripoli and Lebanon as a whole towards Saudi Arabia. I have asked security forces to find the perpetrators," Nohad Machnouk‏ tweeted on Saturday.

The interior minister ordered all political posters and banners to be removed from the streets of Sunni-majority Tripoli, where dozens of images of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman have been put up in recent months.

The incident shows growing resentment towards Riyadh in Lebanon's Sunni heartland following accusations Saudi authorities forced Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri - who is also a Sunni - to resign.

Hariri sent shock waves through Lebanon when he unexpectedly announced he was stepping down from his post in a televised address last week from Riyadh, and has yet to return home.

Riyadh has been accused of forcing the Sunni leader to resign and holding him against his will - allegations the prime minister meekly denied in an televised interview on Sunday evening.

His resignation came as tensions rise between Riyadh and Tehran, which back opposing sides in power struggles from Lebanon and Syria to Yemen.

Sunni Muslim powerhouse Saudi Arabia and Iran, the predominant Shia power, are long-standing rivals based as much in geostrategic interests as religious differences.

In the resignation, Hariri, who also holds Saudi citizenship, accused Iran and its Lebanese ally Hizballah of taking over his country and destabilising the broader region, saying he feared for his life.

Hariri had been sharing power with the Shia political and militant movement Hizballah in hard-won national unity government, but the arrangement had come under increasing fire from Saudi Arabia.

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