BEIRUT (AP) — Hundreds of retired Lebanese members of the military have staged a protest rally, blocking major roads leading to Beirut over austerity budget measures being debated by a parliament committee.

The five-hour protest, which began at dawn on Thursday, saw closures of the northern, southern and eastern entrances to Beirut. The demonstration caused major traffic jams and delays in getting into the city.

Lebanon is dealing with a looming crisis as the economy struggles with soaring debt, rising unemployment and slow growth. The government’s tightened budget and key reforms aim to unlock billions of dollars in pledged foreign assistance.

But the planned cuts have unleashed a wave of public discontent, amid leaks that austerity measures could target pensions, wages, services and social benefits.