Over 50 security officers injured in Beirut protests, 70 people detained
At least 52 members of Lebanon’s security forces have been injured during anti-government protests in Beirut, while 70 people have been detained, the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) said, Trend reports citing Sputnik.
Since Thursday, Beirut and other cities have been gripped by protests with the demonstrators demanding that the government resign and action be taken to cope with the worsening economic situation in the country. The protesters blocked off major highways. In central Beirut, the rallies turned violent as the demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails on the police, while the security forces resorted to using stun grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas. Early on Friday, the ISF’s General Directorate announced that 40 security personnel were injured in the clashes.
"The number of those injured among the Internal Security Forces personnel has reached 52, while 70 people were detained while they were carrying out acts of vandalism, arson and robbery in Beirut," the forces wrote on Twitter late on Friday.
The rallies erupted as the government sought to raise additional funds by introducing a $6 monthly tax on online calls made via WhatsApp and other mobile applications. On Thursday, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said the country's economy suffered from a financial blockade and sanctions.
The tax was abandoned as the protests gained momentum. However, the rallies continued with dozens of people injured in the clashes between the security forces and the protesters.