Protesters remove barriers set by the police during a demonstration near the U.S. embassy in Awkar, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Protests at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon took a violent turn Sunday when Internal Security Forces charged demonstrators after firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons as the crowd was dispersing. The nearly three-hour demonstration in Mount Lebanon's Awkar, north of Beirut, reflected a broad cross section of voices protesting in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite barricades and barbed wire erected by the ISF to keep the demonstrations a kilometer away from the embassy. Scuffles between protesters and police had already taken place by 10:30 a.m., and several injured people had been carried away from the scene by fellow demonstrators.The Americans were joined by foreign nationals of all stripes throughout the protest.Demonstrators yelled revolutionary chants and songs blasted the barricades for around an hour in a relatively peaceful manner until group leaders called for everyone to return to buses chartered to transport protesters, mainly from the south. But what seemed to be the end of the demonstration was only the beginning of the most violent clashes.The ISF then proceeded to storm the crowd, beating protesters with batons.
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