‘Government has names of those burning institutions’: Lebanon’s PM Diab

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Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Wednesday the government has the names of people who are burning institutions and they will be prosecuted.

Banks have been targeted in a spate of burnings as protesters have returned to the streets in Lebanon as the economy deteriorates further and inflation continues to rise.

“We have comprehensive reports about the entities which are encouraging riot, and we have the names of all the people who are burning institutions and shops and destroying public and private property, and they will be transferred for prosecution,” Diab said in a speech.

Read more: Banks burn as Lebanon’s Tripoli rises up in hunger

While concentrated in the northern city of Tripoli, protests have also occured in the capital Beirut and Saida in the south, with financial institutions being lit on fire.

"It's not strange for people to protest and raise their voices, but what's strange is that there are people who are trying to agitate the situation, ride the current wave, distort the image of the protests, and burn the country," the Lebanese Prime Minister said, according to Lebanese TV NBN.

He said the government will reveal the names of people stirring trouble in the country.

“There are people who are aiming to stir strife between the people and the army,” he said. “There’s systematic intention of destructing the state’s institutions.”

Tense moments have occurred between protesters and security forces, and the latter group’s rubber bullets have been met with rocks from civilians during protests.

“They are also stealing honest people’s chants and intending to burn and destroy the streets. They want chaos and are aiming for it because it’s protecting them and benefiting them,” he added.

One protester died in Tripoli after being injured during riots Monday night. His sister said that he died due to gunshot wounds inflicted by security forces.

High-level officials in Lebanon have over the last week exchanged a series of barbs about who is responsible for the ongoing crisis.

Today, Diab said, “Right now we are keen to solve the financial, societal, and living crises.”

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