More than 165 people have been injured in clashes between protesters and security in central Beirut

01/18/2020 - 13:15 PM

AAI

 

Beirut - With the unprecedented protest movement in Lebanon entering its fourth month, downtown Beirut - Saturday evening - witnessed violent confrontations between protesters and riot police in Lebanese security, causing scores of injuries on both sides, while political forces are still unable to form a government that calms the anger of the street.

Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri stated that the military and security forces are called upon to protect the capital, and its role is to curb the infiltrators, stressing that "the confrontations, fires and acts of sabotage in the center of Beirut are crazy, suspicious and rejected."

He added that Beirut would not be "an arena for mercenaries and deliberate policies to strike at the peacefulness of popular movements."

For his part, Lebanese President Michel Aoun asked the ministers of defense and interior and security leaders to maintain the security of peaceful demonstrators and restore calm in central Beirut, prevent riots and secure public and private property.

Riot police said that protesters were violently exposed to them, while Al-Jazeera correspondent reported that the forces used water cannons to disperse the protesters who threw stones at them.

Marches and wounded
Lebanese Red Cross teams have treated - according to official statistics - at least 165 injured protesters and security forces.

Three marches roamed several streets in Beirut, in which hundreds of activists participated, declaring their refusal to form a government from the ruling political class.

The protesters renewed their demands for the independence of the judiciary, accountability for the corrupt, and the formation of a government of specialists independent of political parties, while excluding the old ministerial faces who accuse them of corruption and incompetence.

Protest marches were also launched towards the headquarters of the Association of Banks and the Central Bank of Lebanon in the capital, at a time when Lebanon is suffering the worst economic crisis since the civil war between 1975 and 1990, and protesters participated in marches in the north of Tripoli and the cities of Tire and Nabatiyeh in the south.

Source: aljazeera


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