At least 70 people were injured today in new clashes between government protesters and security forces in Beirut, bringing the total to over 450 in the last 24 hours. Medical sources from the Red Cross report that more than 30 people have been hospitalized.
During the afternoon today, dozens of demonstrators have started throwing stones towards the police behind a metal barricade, shouting “revolution, revolution”. Riot forces responded with water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas.
Yesterday was the most violent day since the protests against the government in Lebanon began.
The people who took to the streets have been protesting against the political system, corruption and the life cycle since mid-October.
On Saturday, the fiery climate prompted the Head of State Michel Aoun and outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri to call for the intervention of the army to “restore calm” in the center of the capital, where thousands of demonstrators had gathered, pushing to approach the super-fortified area of parliament.
The country has been in a state of deep economic and political crisis for months. And the local banking system, described for decades as the most stable in the region, has begun to ration the distribution of the US dollar in a context of a gradual devaluation of the local lira. And there has been a 30% increase in prices and a dizzying rise in unemployment.
The rise in tension comes as Prime Minister Hassan Diab, an expression of the coalition of confessional parties led by pro-Iranian Hezbollah, struggles to reach an agreement with the various political leaders for a government that responds, at least in appearance, to the demands of the square.
Diab insists on presenting a restricted executive of 18 ministers – about half of the previous governments – with nominally new exponents, that is, who have not taken on ministerial positions in the past. Analysts note that behind the appointments proposed by Diab are most of the political movements that have been in power for decades and have been accused by the protest movement that broke out in mid-October.