Lebanese army arrests several protesters in Sidon as roadblocks continue

Lebanese demonstrators wave national flags as they take part in a protest against dire economic conditions in Lebanon's southern city of Sidon on October 20, 2019. (AFP)

Lebanon’s army has arrested several protesters in Sidon on Monday, Al Arabiya’s correspondent reported, as they used their bodies to block main roads in the southern city. The exact number of those arrested is unknown.

The roadblocks prompted some pushback from army forces leading to two injuries, according to the Red Cross. They reported that the two injured were treated and released.

Lebanese demonstrators set up barricades and parked cars across key roads to protest corruption and press their demands for a radical overhaul of their country’s sectarian political system.

Meanwhile, Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Bousaab told OTV on Monday that the army is on the roads but does not open roadblocks by force to avoid any clashes with citizens.

“Those who incite clashes and tension should bear their responsibility,” Bousaab said.

“We must address the situation of road closures quickly, making sure that the army does not clash with the citizens and we will have a meeting soon to this end,” he added.

On their 12th day of protesting, demonstrators called on people to block main roads with their cars. Al Arabiya’s correspondent reported that members of the Lebanese army attempted to urge car owners to remove their cars.

According to the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar TV, protesters closed off the municipality buildings of Tripoli and el-Mina, as well as the water authority in north Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the Association of Banks in Lebanon announced the closure of banks on Monday, as protests continue across the country.

The move comes amid fears of a huge demand for the US dollar, or a large withdrawal of deposits abroad, and the deterioration of the lira exchange rate against the dollar.

For 12 consecutive days, protests have been sweeping Lebanon against a political elite accused of corruption, mismanagement of state funds and leading the country to an economic collapse not seen in Lebanon since the 1975-1990 civil war. Banks, schools and many businesses remain closed.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:56 - GMT 06:56
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