U.N. Condemns 'Vandalism' and Use of Force against Lebanon Protesters

The United Nations on Monday condemned the use of force against Lebanese protesters at the hands of riot police.

"Violence from protesters and vandalism are of course unacceptable," said U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

But the vast majority of protesters are peaceful "and they need to be protected," he added.

Lebanon has been rocked by mostly peaceful anti-government rallies since October 17 but the protests turned violent over the weekend amid political stalemate and an ever deepening economic crisis.

On Saturday and Sunday night demonstrators, who had called for a "week of rage", lobbed stones, firecrackers and street signs at riot police, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets to clear a road leading to parliament.

The escalation saw more than 540 people wounded on the two sides and came as wrangling delayed the formation of a new government to replace that of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who quit last year in the face of street protests.

Source: Agence France Presse

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