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Riot police cleared You Stink campaign protesters Tuesday from the Environment Ministry in Downtown Beirut, hours after activists began a sit-in calling for the minister's resignation over the protracted trash crisis.Gen. Mohammad Ayyoubi asked all media to leave the building as riot police prepared to clear the floor where protesters continued their sit-in.One hour later, police were seen carrying protesters out of the building, some of them with bruise marks and others handcuffed, witnesses said.LBC TV host Joe Maalouf, who was present when riot police began clearing the floor, said that protesters and media members were beaten and dragged from the building.An activist, who preferred to remain anonymous, said 14 protesters were still inside the Environment Ministry.All protesters were removed from the building by 9:30 p.m, after which local media reported that Machnouk left his office.Activist Mohammad Najem, who was among the last group of protesters to leave the building, underlined that they were not forced to remain inside by security forces.At least one thousand protesters, flanked by riot police, remain camped out at various entrances to the complex, chanting for the resignation of the environment minister.Two hours into the sit-in, the protesters inside the Environment Ministry appeared to be suffering from the heat after employees turned off the air conditioning and electricity, one of the activists announced on Facebook.
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