Riots in Lebanon over economy

Amid political deadlock, troops, protesters clash over country’s economic crisis

June 27, 2021 09:31 pm | Updated 09:32 pm IST - BEIRUT

Motorbike drivers wait to get fuel at a gas station in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, June 27, 2021. On Friday, Hassan Diab, Lebanon's caretaker prime minister, granted his approval to allow the financing of fuel imports at a rate higher than the official exchange rate, effectively reducing critical fuel subsidies that have been in place for decades, amid worsening gasoline shortages. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Motorbike drivers wait to get fuel at a gas station in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, June 27, 2021. On Friday, Hassan Diab, Lebanon's caretaker prime minister, granted his approval to allow the financing of fuel imports at a rate higher than the official exchange rate, effectively reducing critical fuel subsidies that have been in place for decades, amid worsening gasoline shortages. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Lebanese troops deployed in the northern city of Tripoli early on Sunday taking positions around major state institutions after a night of protests and riots against worsening living conditions left several protesters and 10 soldiers injured.

Sporadic protests were reported throughout Lebanon on Saturday as the country’s 20-month economic crisis worsened. The World Bank described the crisis as one of the worst the world has witnessed in 150 years. It is coupled with a political deadlock that has left Lebanon without a government since August. The largest protests were in the southern port city of Sidon and in Tripoli, Lebanon’s second largest city and most impoverished. Protests took place in Beirut.

Lebanon has been suffering severe shortages of vital products, including fuel, medicine and medical products, angering the public.

Lebanon’s currency hit a record low on Saturday, reaching £18,000 to the U.S. dollar. The pound has lost more than 90% of its value since the crisis began.

In October 2019 protesters called for the removal of the political class that has run the country since the end of the 1975-90 civil war and has been blamed for corruption and mismanagement that has ruined the country’s economy.

The Army said rioters on motorcycles threw stun grenades at troops in Tripoli injuring nine soldiers, while another was injured when hit by a stone.

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