Prime Minister Saad Hariri addresses demonstrators in Beirut, Sunday, March 19, 2017. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
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Protesters took to the streets of Beirut Sunday holding placards expressing their outrage at proposed tax increases, in one of the largest in a series of demonstrations against the government's plan.Another protester, who preferred to remain anonymous, called on politicians to reject corruption.Despite Sunday's overall peaceful atmosphere, tensions grew between protesters and police forces around the Grand Serail.Friction between protesters and police continued throughout the rally, as demonstrators threw water bottles, sticks and fireworks at riot police.Tensions mounted even further when Prime Minister Saad Hariri forayed into Riad al-Solh Square to try to speak to the protesters.Police were seen detaining a number of young men near the barricades before releasing them.The unruly, and at times aggressive, actions of some young protesters were met with disapproval by others in the crowd.Some protesters sought to cross the police barricade and came close to head-on clashes with riot police officers, while other civil society members moved to form a human barrier between the demonstrators and the police to prevent tensions from escalating.Elian Bou Khalil talked a fellow protester out of crossing the metal barrier, saying those demonstrating mustn't resort to violence and should uphold the protest's peaceful nature.
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