A young man died as a result of injuries he sustained during protests in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli last night, local media LBCI reported Tuesday.
The 26-year-old protester's sister said in a Facebook post that he was shot by the Lebanese Army, and he died as a result of his injuries.
Around 35 civilians were injured, reported LBCI, and 13 soldiers were injured, Al Arabiya reported.
As economic conditions continue to worsen across the country and hunger grows in certain pockets, protesters have demonstrated over the last week in Tripoli, where over half of the population fell below the poverty line at the end of 2019. Now, that rate is likely higher where a spiraling economy and lockdowns to stem the spread of coronavirus have put more people out of work.
Yesterday marked the first day that Lebanon will gradually start to reopen from lockdown in a five-phase process.
The facades of several banks were smashed last night, and at least one was set on fire. The army said a fire-bomb was thrown at one of its patrol vehicles and a hand grenade was hurled at a patrol during the riots, Reuters reported.
On Tuesday, the Lebanese Banking Association ordered all banks in Tripoli to shut until security is restored.
Banks have been the target of protesters ire for months, as many are frustrated with rapidly rising inflation and a series of ad hoc capital controls that has made it difficult or impossible to access funds within the banking system.
Most recently, the central bank set a series of exchange rates, including a rate for withdrawing Lebanese lira from USD accounts, a rate at which exchange shops can sell lira, and a rate for transfer houses that is designed for remittances. These rates range between 3,000 and 3,800 lira to $1, while the pegged rate remains 1,507 lira to $1. On the parallel, or black market, the rate has neared 4,000 lira to $1.
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