Banks in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli were left with charred buildings and broken windows following overnight clashes between the army and protesters as anger over a spiraling economic crisis.
In second city Tripoli, protesters hurled rocks at security forces, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
The violence came after a protester died on Tuesday from a bullet wound he had sustained during overnight confrontations between troops and hundreds of demonstrators in Tripoli.
Following the funeral of 26-year-old Fawaz al-Samman in the city’s central Al-Nour Square, demonstrators went on the rampage, torching and vandalizing banks and military vehicles.
Troops fired live rounds into the air to try to disperse stone-throwing protesters under clouds of tear gas.
Tuesday’s confrontations were the latest in a string of anti-government protests fueled by unprecedented inflation and a plummeting Lebanese pound.
Video: Overnight #LebanonProtests against growing economic hardship which first erupted in #Tripoli have spread to other Lebanese cities like #Sidon, with banks set ablaze and violence boiling over into a second night.https://t.co/ZxbWxWobOo pic.twitter.com/WYwyduYwmN— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) April 29, 2020
Angered by the financial collapse, demonstrators have rallied across Lebanon, blocking roads and attacking banks, re-energizing a protest movement launched in October against a political class the activists deem inept and corrupt.
“I came down to raise my voice against hunger, poverty and rising prices,” Khaled, 41, told AFP, saying he had lost his job selling motorcycle parts and could no longer support his three children.