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Many politicians blamed Syria for the killing and angry protesters tried to storm the government palace after Gen. al-Hassan’s funeral on Sunday, venting their rage at leaders they consider puppets of a murderous Syrian regime.

But they were pushed back by troops who fired their guns in the air and filled the street with tear gas.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati, a Sunni, told As-Safir newspaper that when he took up his post last year, he intended to protect all Lebanese, particularly Sunnis.

“I was convinced that through this mission, I am protecting my country, my people and especially fellow members of my sect,” he said.

The prime minister of Lebanon is usually a Sunni according to a sectarian division of top posts in the state. Over the past year, pro-Syrian Hezbollah and its allies have come to dominate the government.

On Sunday night, a group of anti-Syrian protesters started an open-ended sit-in outside Mr. Mikati’s house in his hometown of Tripoli. The protesters said they will only end the sit-in when Mr. Mikati resigns.