Fierce Clashes between Protesters, Security Forces near Parliament
Fierce clashes erupted Tuesday evening between security forces and anti-government protesters near parliament’s building in central Beirut.
The confrontations followed a peaceful larger rally at the nearby Martyrs Square where speeches were delivered by representatives of the protest movement against a ruling class seen as being responsible for the economic collapse and port explosion.
"Time for accountability," read one banner put up by demonstrators.
More radical protesters later headed to a street near parliament and started hurling stones over a security barrier.
A social media video meanwhile showed protesters preventing an Internal Security Forces car from passing among them, with some hurling stones, kicking at it and hitting it with sticks.
Security forces then started firing tear gas after protesters managed to smash open a metallic gate.
Activists meanwhile published photos showing protesters injured by birdshot.
Later in the evening, security forces advanced towards protesters under a heavy cloud of tear gas, pushing them away from the streets around parliament.
The Lebanese Red Cross meanwhile announced that five of its teams were tending to the wounded in the protest zone.
A blaze meanwhile erupted in an empty restaurant in the building of Annahar newspaper, which was badly damaged by the August 4 Beirut port explosion. The fire was later extinguished as protesters set trash bins in the area ablaze.
The protest comes a day after little-known diplomat Mustafa Adib was designated to form a new government.
The protest movement has slammed Adib as a product of the same political class they have been rallying against since October last year. The demo also comes on the second day of an official visit to the country by French President Emmanuel Macron.