Lebanon security forces fire tear gas, clash with protesters near central bank
Lebanese security forces fired tear gas to disperse protesters outside the country’s central bank on Tuesday evening, clashing with dozens of people who pelted them with stones and fireworks.
A group of protesters attempting to enter the Lebanese Central Bank on Hamra street tried to force their way into the building but were stopped but anti-riot police.
“This then led to two hours of clashes between the group of protesters and the security forces. When this happened, hundreds of protesters then joined the street,” Al Arabiya’s correspondent in Beirut Mahmoud Shukur reported.
Protesters also threw tear gas canisters back at riot police and some protesters were seen hurling rocks and stones, according to Shukur.
Protests first began last October against the ruling political elite accused of steering Lebanon toward its worst economic crisis in decades.
Since Saad Hariri resigned as prime minister in late October, politicians have failed to agree a new government or a rescue plan.
The Lebanese pound has weakened on the parallel market, a hard currency squeeze has driven up prices and confidence in the banking system has been battered.
“Everything we’re suffering from is because of the banks and the central bank’s policies,” Ali, a 21-year-old college student, said at Tuesday’s protest in Beirut’s Hamra district.
“This is why there’s no longer any money, and prices are rising.”