Lebanon protests turn violent on eve of new PM being named

Violence in Lebanon has continued into a second day, with protesters and security forces clashing near the parliament in Beirut.
On Saturday night, security forces opened fire with rubber bullets on protesters in some of the worst violence since anti-government protests began in October.

Despite the fierce crackdown, protesters returned to the streets of the Lebanese capital on Sunday to demand a new, independent government head.
The unrest erupted two months ago fuelled by anger at the rising cost of living, new tax plans and the political establishment, which is accused of exploiting the state for their own benefit.

Image: Security forces have clashed with protesters

Image: Around 130 people were injured – but none seriously, say the Red Cross
“We will not leave. They are the ones who looted the country. They are the ones who got us here. We want our rights,” said Nadine Farhat, 31, a lawyer who joined the protests on Sunday.

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Riot police and security forces, deploying again in large numbers, fired water cannon at hundreds of demonstrators.

The weekend confrontations led to more than 130 people getting injured, although the Red Cross said none of them were seriously hurt and were treated on the spot.

More from Beirut

Despite repeated calls for a new, independent head of state, it seems likely that the previously-resigned Saad al Hariri will be re-installed as prime minister.

Image: Activists gathered near Beirut’s parliament building
Talks are set to take place on Monday between officials in the country, in the hope of bringing Mr al Hariri back to his former job.
Mr al Hariri quit as Lebanon’s prime minister on 29 October, amid the growing political tensions in the government and public calls for an end to corruption, inequality and sectarianism in the country.

Previous efforts to put a new prime minister in charge had stalled after rival political factions failed to agree on a new way forward.
An administration is urgently needed to tackle the crisis gripping the country, with foreign donors holding back financial support until there is a cabinet in place to carry out reforms.

Source : Sky News