The city of Beirut was once again the scene of a violent confrontation between citizens, who demand the resignation of the government, and the Armed Forces. The protesters broke into various ministries and the country’s Banking Association, where, in addition to occupying the buildings, they set fires. So far the authorities have registered 172 injured and one police officer dead.
Indignation and anger invade thousands of Lebanese, after the massive explosion that occurred on Tuesday, the streets of Beirut have no rest, citizens enraged with the government’s management came out to protest this afternoon, on the so-called “Day of Judgment”, taking by storm the vicinity of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economy.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been affected by the explosion, the building had been unoccupied since Tuesday, the protesters took advantage of the situation to invade the place, which was guarded by only two officers, and displayed a large banner demanding the disarmament of Hezbollah, those present declared the building as «headquarters of the revolution».
While in the Ministry of Environment and Economy, both would be in the same building, they suffered a fire caused by angry protesters. On the other hand, in the center of the city, the headquarters of the Banking Association was also the target of the protests, another group of Beirutis set fire to the bank, shouting “Down with the kingdom of banks!”.
The violent demonstration had as its starting point the symbolic Martyrs’ Square, in the scene, the citizens who mostly covered their faces with masks threw stones and fireworks at the security agents, who responded with tear gas and bullets rubber, cars were also burned and damage to the public good.
The government’s response
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab proposed the early elections to control the population, “I call on the parties to agree on the next step (…) I will propose on Monday at (the cabinet meeting) to call early elections ”. Diab indicated that Lebanon is in a state of emergency, adding, “Investigating the Beirut explosion disaster will not take long. We are not clinging to the chair and we want a national solution that saves the country ”.
Meanwhile, five members of parliament have resigned in protest at the current administration. The authorities have so far detained 16 people in connection with the blast, including Lebanese Customs Director-General Badri Daher, Beirut Port Chief Hasan Kraytem, and former Customs Chief Chafic Merei.