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BEIRUT BLAST

Clashes and chaos in Beirut as PM promises early elections

Shots, tear gas and flames as protests against Beirut explosion grow (8 August 2020)
Shots, tear gas and flames as protests against Beirut explosion grow (8 August 2020) Reuters
Text by: Arnab Béranger with RFI
2 min

Tensions in Beirut flared significantly on Saturday, as more than 110 were wounded in protests following the tragic blast earlier this week. Angry anti-government protesters clashed with police on Saturday. Prime Minister Hassan Diab said he will call for early elections.

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More than 110 were reported wounded in the clashes where shots were heard.

Foreign Ministry declared as ‘Revolution’ headquarters

A group of 200 protesters led by retired Lebanese army officers stormed the foreign ministry Saturday, declaring it the headquarters of a ‘revolution’. They were later evacuated by security forces.

A group of protesters also entered the Ministry of Economy and seized piles of documents which they scattered on the street, while another group attempted a similar move against the headquarters of the Association of Banks in Lebanon.

Protesters continued to attempt seizure of government buildings on Saturday night.

Demonstrators throw stones during a protest as they try to break through a barrier to get to the parliament building following Tuesday's blast in Beirut.
Demonstrators throw stones during a protest as they try to break through a barrier to get to the parliament building following Tuesday's blast in Beirut. REUTERS - THAIER AL-SUDANI

Early elections imminent, says PM

Four days since the blast at Beirut port, grief gave way to rage.

The explosion is widely blamed on the incompetence and corruption of the ruling elite. At least 150 people were killed, with 6,000 and hundreds of thousands homeless.

The large demonstrations were reminiscent of the unprecedented nationwide and cross-sectarian protest movement in October.

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Saturday he would propose early elections to break the impasse that is plunging the country deeper into political and economic crisis every day.

(With AFP)

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