Beirut municipality removes unlicensed structures at Ramlet al-Baida, June 16, 2019. (The Daily Star/Mohamad Azakir)
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Beirut Gov. Ziad Chebib is facing backlash over a decision to destroy unlicensed, temporary structures used by locals and NGOs on the Ramlet al-Baida beach while being accused of turning a blind eye to larger encroachments on the capital's coast. Bulldozers and dozens of municipality employees Saturday destroyed a series of structures -- described in a statement from the governor's office as "illegal and unlicensed construction" -- on Beirut's only public beach.Soon after, the NGO asked Beirut Municipality for help with removing some large structures from the beach.Beirut Mayor Jamal Itani told The Daily Star that Saturday's actions had been in response to complaints about bad odors and livestock being raised in some areas of the beach.The OBB had agreed that these structures needed to be removed, but Itani noted that a "conflict" arose Saturday about the destruction of some structures situated on private land.Itani said that Chebib personally sought to remove "everything" from the private land.
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