In the Lebanese capital Beirut, violent clashes between demonstrators critical of the government and security forces broke out for the second evening in a row. According to the Lebanese Red Cross, 145 people were injured yesterday, 45 of which had to be treated in hospitals. At least 377 people had to be given medical care on Saturday. It was the most violent day since the protests began three months ago.
Yesterday hundreds of demonstrators gathered again in central Beirut. They shouted „Revolution, Revolution“ and threw stones and firecrackers at a roadblock of the security forces. Police fired rubber bullets and used water cannons and tear gas, a correspondent for the AFP news agency reported.
Injuries from rubber bullets
Given the escalation of violence for today, President Michel Aoun has called a „security meeting“ according to the official ANI news agency, in which ministers of defense and home affairs are to take part.
According to a committee of lawyers, around 40 demonstrators were temporarily arrested on Saturday. „The majority“ of them were victims of „excessive violence“, some of the demonstrators had injuries „on the head, face or genitals“. In the hospitals, they found injuries caused by rubber bullets on the face and head.
Lebanon has been shaken by unprecedented protests against corruption and mismanagement since mid-October. The anger of the population has increased in recent weeks because their economic situation continues to deteriorate and there is still no new government more than two months after the resignation of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.