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Protesters Clash with Authorities in Lebanon Over Turkish PM's Visit

Lebanese of Armenian descent carry an Armenian flag as they tear up a poster showing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a protest against his visit, in Beirut's Martyrs' Square, Lebanon, 25 Nov 2010

Hundreds of Lebanese of Armenian descent have clashed with security forces in Lebanon during a protest against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit.

Demonstrators shouted anti-Turkish slogans Thursday and tore down posters of Mr. Erdogan to protest Turkey's refusal to recognize the World War I-era killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide.

Prime Minister Erdogan was in a different part of the country as the protest erupted in Beirut's Martyrs Square. His two-day visit to the country has included meetings with top officials on strengthening trade and strategic relations.

Armenians say about 1.5 million people of Armenian descent were killed between 1915 and 1923 as a result of a campaign orchestrated by Ottoman Turks. Turkey says the death toll is greatly exaggerated.

Last year, Turkish and Armenian leaders signed protocols to establish bilateral relations, a move designed to end decades of hostility. However, the measures stalled in the parliaments of both countries.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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