Hezbollah accused the government of declaring war by threatening to dismantle its private telecommunications network and removing the Hezbollah-linked head of airport security from his post. The cabinet on 6 May said the communication network was a threat to the country’s sovereignty.

Roadblocks set up by Hezbollah supporters paralysed the capital and closed access to Beirut International Airport for a second day. Lebanon’s national carrier, Middle East Airlines, announced that it was cancelling flights until it could reassess the situation.

The latest clashes began on 7 May during a Hezbollah-backed labour union strike calling for pay raises. The demonstration quickly deteriorated into fighting between pro-government and Hezbollah factions.