Lebanon protests turn violent


Protests in Lebanon turned violent for a second night on Wednesday with dozens injured after security forces used batons and tear gas to break up demonstrations.

Lebanon has been swept by a wave of mostly peaceful protests aimed at the country’s elite prompting Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to resign last October, pushing the country deeper into economic crisis.

On Tuesday night, riots broke out in Beirut’s Hamra area, with bank facades smashed and stones pelted at security forces who fired back with tear gas.

Unrest continued on Wednesday when anti-government protesters hurled stones and fireworks at security forces outside a Beirut police station where demonstrators were detained.

Police dispersed protests with batons and tear gas.

The Lebanese Red Cross said 45 people were injured, 35 transferred to hospitals for treatment.

Security forces injured a Reuters video journalist who was treated in hospital and released. Lebanese broadcasters Al Jadeed and MTV said security forces injured cameramen working for them.

Lebanon’s internal security forces did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement caretaker interior minister Raya al-Hassan condemned the violence and called on demonstrators to remain peaceful.

“We do not accept attacking journalists doing their duty to cover events and developments, nor do we accept the attack of security forces maintaining security,” Hassan said.