Protesters clash with security forces as roads blocked across Lebanon

Lebanese protesters set fire to roadways and clashed with security forces on a second night of unrest on Friday, according to witnesses and Lebanese media.

Protests erupted on Thursday in several Lebanese cities after a crash in the pound currency, which has lost about 70 percent of its value since October, when Lebanon was plunged into a financial crisis that has brought mounting hardship.

The pound appeared to halt its slide on Friday after a government announcement that the central bank would inject dollars into the market on Monday.

However, protesters returned later on Friday for a second night, throwing fireworks and stones at security forces in central Beirut and the northern city of Tripoli, prompting them to spray tear gas and rubber bullets to push them back.

Demonstrators ride on motorbikes during a protest against fall in Lebanese pound currency and mounting economic hardship, in Beirut, Lebanon June 11, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)

Demonstrators ride on motorbikes during a protest against fall in Lebanese pound currency and mounting economic hardship, in Beirut, Lebanon June 11, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)

The unrest comes as Beirut holds talks with the International Monetary Fund for a reform program it hopes will secure billions of dollars in financing and put its economy back on track.

The crisis, rooted in decades of corruption and waste, has brought soaring food prices, unemployment and capital controls that have severed Lebanese from their hard currency savings.

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Last Update: Sunday, 14 June 2020 KSA 15:23 - GMT 12:23
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