Lebanon’s Aoun, Hariri ask army, security chiefs to restore calm in Beirut

Protesters attempt to break through the security barrier in the central Beirut near the parliament headquarters on January 18, 2020. (AFP)

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun asked the army and security commanders to restore calm in central Beirut, where security forces clashed with protesters on Saturday night.

Aoun called on them “to protect the safety of peaceful protesters and of public and private property, and to restore calm to central Beirut,” the president’s office said.

For his part, caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri denounced via Twitter “the scene of confrontations, fires and acts of sabotage in the center of Beirut,” this evening, deeming it “a suspicious and unacceptable scene that threatens civil peace and warns of the gravest consequences,” according to the Lebanese news agency NNA.

“Beirut will not be the arena for mercenaries and deliberate policies to attack the peacefulness of popular movements,” stressed Hariri.

“Rafic Hariri’s dream of a unified capital for all Lebanese will not burn with the fires of outlaws and those devouring from the peaceful movement. We will not allow anyone to render Beirut, once again, an area of destruction, devastation and contact lines,” he warned.

Hariri urged “the military and security forces to protect the capital and its role, and to rein in the abusers and infiltrators.”

(With Reuters)

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Last Update: 18:27 KSA 21:27 - GMT 18:27
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