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Jul 26, 3:14 PM EDT

Protesters close major highway in Lebanon over trash crisis

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AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

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BEIRUT (AP) -- Protesters have closed the highway linking Beirut to southern Lebanon over the country's trash crisis.

The closure of the vital highway in the coastal town of Jiyeh on Sunday comes amid reports that the government plans to move trash piled on the streets of Beirut to the Kharoub region south of the capital.

The protesters stopped several trucks carrying trash and prevented them from entering the region. The closure led to major traffic jams, and authorities urged people not to use the highway.

The main company in charge of collecting trash stopped its work earlier this month amid a dispute over the country's largest trash dump. Mountains of garbage have piled up in Beirut and its suburbs.

The country's notoriously gridlocked government postponed further discussion of the crisis until Tuesday.

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