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Lebanon crisis: clashes between police and anti-power protesters in Beirut


In central Beirut, Lebanese police fired tear gas on Saturday 14 December to disperse dozens of people gathered near the Parliament. In recent weeks, the acc…

Protesters in Lebanon continue to put pressure on power. Clashes took place in central Beirut on Saturday (December 14th) between anti-power demonstrators and the Lebanese police, who fired tear gas to disperse dozens of people gathered near the Parliament.

Already in the afternoon, the riot police had fired tear gas in the center of the capital to disperse dozens of young people, this time hostile to the protest movement, who threw stones and firecrackers at the forces security, according to an AFP photographer.

In recent weeks, clashes have multiplied during protests of the protest, which accuses the political class of corruption and incompetence since October 17.

On Saturday evening, clashes broke out at the entrance to an avenue leading to the Parliament and blocked by the security forces.

The protesters, who are calling for a government of technocrats and independents, chanted slogans denouncing politicians, including the head of parliament Nabih Berri or the head of the resigning government Saad Hariri, two days before the parliamentary consultations to appoint a new Prime Minister.

Protesters attempted to break through the roadblock at the entrance to the avenue, but police charged to drive them away, before firing tear gas and clubbing some of them, according to images broadcast in live by the local television channel LBC.

The clashes continued on the Place des Martyrs, epicenter of the protest, then on a bridge in the city center, according to an AFP photographer, who reported shots fired by rubber bullets from the security forces and jets from stone of the demonstrators.

Protesters were injured by batons and others passed out due to the intensity of the gas, the source said. Members of the security forces were also injured.

"Uncontrollable anger"

The Lebanese Red Cross announced on Twitter that it had transported ten injured people to hospitals and treated 33 people there.

There are cases of fainting, wounded suffering from breathing difficulties and others affected by throwing stones, the Red Cross said in a message to AFP. The injured are civilians but also members of the security forces, the same source said.

Lebanese civil defense also transported ten wounded to hospitals, but did not say whether they were civilians or members of the security forces.

This week, the army and the police have already used force several times to disperse protesters.

Earlier on Saturday, young people hostile to the protest, coming from a central district of Beirut considered as a bastion of the Shiite parties Hezbollah and Amal, tried to invest tents of demonstrators near the Place des Martyrs.

Under pressure from the street, Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned on October 29. The country's main parties have failed to agree on a successor and the formation of the new cabinet could drag on, in a country on the brink of economic collapse.

With AFP

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Source: france24

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