Lebanon News

Day 57: Scuffles in Halba, protest in Beirut

Riot police clash with supporters of Amal group as they were heading to the area where anti-government protests were taking place early on December 12, 2019 in central Beirut. / AFP / SERVICES AFP / ANWAR AMRO

BEIRUT: Tensions rose in the northern town of Halba as scuffles erupted between protesters and security forces Thursday morning, the 57th consecutive day of the nationwide uprising.

Protesters gathered in front of the Halba Serail, chanting anti-corruption slogans and demanding the return of municipality files. Video footage showed protesters attempting to break down the front gates. Scuffles broke out when the security forces prevented protesters from entering the building. 

Meanwhile, Civil Defense volunteers gathered in Beirut’s Riad al-Solh to carry out a protest coinciding with the parliamentary Finance and Budget committee meeting taking place later Thursday.

“If our right to the Finance and Budget Committee is not approved, we will call a meeting at the level of all Lebanese regions within 72 hours and the appropriate decision will be taken,” said a Civil Defense spokesperson from Riadh al-Solh.

Lebanon has been without a government since Saad Hariri’s resignation as prime minister on Oct. 29, offered in response to an unprecedented nationwide uprising against the ruling political elite.

Protesters, who have been on the streets since Oct. 17, are demanding the formation of a technocratic government to rescue the country’s economy. However, their calls have so far fallen on deaf ears, amid political squabbling over the new Cabinet.

 

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