Hundreds of Lebanese join anti-government protests as lockdown eased
Hundreds of Lebanese protesters took to the streets on Saturday to voice outrage over the government’s handling of a deep economic crisis, with security forces firing tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse rock-throwing demonstrators, Trend reports citing Reuters.
The first big protests since the government rolled back coronavirus lockdown measures come as Beirut negotiates an International Monetary Fund package it hopes will secure billions of dollars in financing to prop up its collapsing economy.
Protesters burned garbage bins and ransacked a furniture shop in the capital’s upscale shopping district, smashing its storefront and hauling out a couch to block a road.
Security forces responded by firing rounds of tear gas, footage from Lebanese broadcasters showed.
Some demonstrators waved banners demanding better living conditions and called for early parliamentary elections, tougher measures to fight corruption and the disarming of powerful Shi’ite paramilitary group Hezbollah.