Lebanese security forces fired water cannons, tear gas and a sound bomb at hundreds of stone-throwing demonstrators who gathered in downtown Beirut, shouting “Revolution!” on Sunday evening. Hundreds were injured, as they were on Saturday. It’s not known how many in total were taken to hospital.
The Red Cross said at least 70 people were injured in the first hour and a half of the clashes, including 30 who were transported to hospitals for treatment. Reporters on the scene said most of the injuries were from rubber bullets, some in the face and the upper body, according to Stars and Stripes.
Lebanese protestors storm government offices in Beirut. The Khamenei regime’s allies are under pressure across the region. pic.twitter.com/j0vSH9oujK
— Alireza Nader (@AlirezaNader) January 19, 2020
Protesters from one end of the political spectrum to the other have voiced outrage since October 17, demanding an end to the political class they say has not served the country, but has instead served its own needs.
The confrontation escalated near the Parliament building the day after more than 370 people – protesters and security personnel — were wounded in violence between security forces and protesters throughout the day on Saturday. The violence that was said to be ‘winding down’ by late Saturday night was happening again Sunday.
At least 120 people were taken to hospital Saturday night; 34 were detained, but Lebanon’s public prosecutor ordered all to be released early Sunday morning. Many said they were beaten by police while being taken into custody, according to Human Rights Watch.
VIDEO: ?? Protesters in Lebanon's capital #Beirut vandalised several banks in the city's central Hamra neighbourhood overnight, after two nights of violent anti-government demonstrations pic.twitter.com/of2LM23Gaf
— AFP news agency (@AFP) January 17, 2020
Protesters attacked several banks, including the Lebanon Banking Association building, in central Beirut on Saturday night, breaking the windows and bashing the outside of the building with metal bars.
Security forces resumed firing rubber bullets on Sunday, according to relatives of those who were hit, and whose testimonies were later quoted by Human Rights Watch.
The collapsing economy combined with despair over the inability of the politicians to form a new government and financial recovery has increased the number of protesters in the streets.
By late Sunday night, however, heavy rain helped to empty the streets surrounding the Parliament, according to Lebanese station MTV.com.