Lebanon News

Amal supporters attack protests in south Lebanon for 2nd night

Supporters of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah and Amal groups hurl fireworks at security forces early on December 17, 2019 in central Beirut. / AFP / ANWAR AMRO

BEIRUT: Amal Movement supporters attacked protesters and demonstration sites in south Lebanon for the second consecutive night Tuesday.

In Nabatieh’s Kfar Roumanne, men with sticks attacked protesters, before a regional official from the party intervened ordering them to leave, local media reported.

In the town of Nabatieh itself, tents set up by protesters were set alight.

In Beirut, hundreds of men from al-Khandaq al-Ghamiq neighborhood went to the streets in Downtown for a fourth consecutive night, blocking roads and launching fireworks.

Early Wednesday, security forces put up concrete barriers in various areas of Beirut in an apparent attempt to prevent people, protesters or what security forces have described as "infiltrators," from entering certain areas of Downtown.

Sunni and Shiite religious leaders made public statements Tuesday calling for an end to sectarian rhetoric, vandalism and violence after Amal and Hezbollah supporters attempted to storm Downtown Beirut.

Hundreds of men burned cars, smashed shop fronts and threw fireworks at security forces following the circulation of a video that contained insults directed at Shiite religious figures and political leaders.

Tripoli also witnessed acts of vandalism Tuesday night. A group of unidentified men set a Christmas tree was set on fire at the Nini roundabout and ransacked the office of the city’s mufti, Sheikh Malik al-Shaar.

The Lebanese Army arrested four people for their suspected involvement in the incident.

Over the last few days, the mass protests against the ruling class have seen increased levels of violence, both from security forces and sectarian party supporters.

At the weekend, dozens of protesters were injured after riot police fired rubber bullets and huge amounts of tear gas to disperse them.

Lebanon’s uprising began on Oct. 17 following the announcement of a string of new tax measures. Protesters have been calling for an end to corruption, the sectarian political system and the return of “looted” public funds.





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