One killed as violent protests rock Tripoli

Anti-government protesters smashing the facade of a bank in Tripoli.

Anti-government protesters smashing the facade of a bank in Tripoli.   | Photo Credit: FATHI AL-MASRI

Banks set ablaze after a night of rioting

Violent protests erupted in Lebanon’s Tripoli again on Tuesday, with more banks set ablaze after a night of rioting that left one protester dead, according to security and medical sources, in demonstrations renewed by growing economic despair.

Also read: Lebanon set for debt default

A collapse in the Lebanese pound and soaring inflation and unemployment are compounding hardship in Lebanon, which has been in deep financial crisis since October.

A shutdown to curb the spread of the new coronavirus has exacerbated economic woes.

Overnight, protesters in the northern city of Tripoli set several banks and an Army vehicle on fire. Soldiers fired into the air and used tear gas and rubber bullets, a security source said.

The man who died was in his 20s and it was not immediately clear who was responsible for his death, the source said.

Protesters returned on Tuesday, lighting two commercial banks on fire and smashing their facades, prompting the Army to re-deploy. Dozens of soldiers positioned themselves in a main commercial street lined with several banks, and some fired rubber bullets and tear gas to repel protesters.

The Army said that overnight a fire-bomb was thrown at one of its vehicles and a hand grenade was hurled at a patrol and blamed the trouble on “a number of infiltrators,” calling on peaceful protesters to quickly leave the streets.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:10:57 PM |

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