Protesters demonstrate in Beirut, security forces resort to tear gas bombs, water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse protesters.
Protests turned violent once again Sunday, as hundreds of people gathered outside Nijmeh Square, before riot police and Lebanese Army members deployed on the ground to disperse protesters. At least 90 people were injured during Sunday’s events. According to the Lebanese Red Cross, 38 people were transported to hospital and 52 were treated at the scene. As protesters grew in numbers, many threw rocks and firecrackers at security forces, while others pushed against and attempted to climb the metal barricades obstructing access to Nijmeh Square, where the Parliament is located. Later in the evening, a large number of riot police accompanied by Army soldiers moved from near Beirut Souks toward the main road near Beirut Municipality before dividing and going in different directions in an apparent move to encircle demonstrators. During the confrontations, security forces and riot police fired tear gas and pushed most of the protesters away from Nijmeh Square toward the Al Nahar building, but they later returned. The weekend’s clashes, in which riot police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon to disperse rioting protesters in Downtown Beirut, were the worst since hundreds of thousands of Lebanese took to the streets on Oct. 17.