Shooting heard at scene of anti-government protests in central Beirut

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Shooting was heard at the scene of demonstrations in central Beirut against Lebanon's ruling elite on Saturday and police confirmed to Reuters that bullets were fired.

Live coverage on local television stations showed several people who had were bloodied from rubber bullet shot as police used tear gas to disperse protesters trying to break into parliament square.

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Also, a fire broke out in a truck in a main square in central Beirut where protesters had converged to demand the fall of Lebanon's ruling class andgovernment after last Tuesday's explosion, witnesses said.

Several other smaller fires broke out in the vicinity of the protest area.

The protestors said their politicians should resign and be punished for negligence they say led to Tuesday’s blast, the biggest ever to hit Beirut, that killed 158 people and injured more than 6,000, compounding months of political and economic meltdown.

A policeman was killed during the clashes, a spokesman said. A policeman at the scene said the officer died when he fell into an elevator shaft in a nearby building after being chased by protesters.

The Red Cross said it had treated 117 people for injuries on the scene while another 55 were taken to hospital. Policemen wounded by stones were treated by ambulance workers.

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