Riots in Lebanon's capital leave more than 150 injured

Riots in Lebanon's capital leave more than 150 injured

Lebanon's security forces have released most of the more than 100 anti-government protesters arrested after two nights of violent encounters between police and protesters in the capital, Beirut.

Clashes between police and protesters in Lebanon angered by delays in forming a government injured more than 160 people on both sides on Saturday as the anti-establishment demonstrations entered a fourth month.

The riots began when some protesters started throwing stones at police deployed near the parliament building while others removed street signs and metal barriers and hurled them at security forces.

Lebanese journalists staged a rally outside the Interior Ministry in Beirut to protest against the anti-riot polices use of excessive force against demonstrators in recent days.

Civilian men believed to be the private unit of the parliament guards, burn the tents of the anti-government protesters, during ongoing protests against the political elites in Beirut, Lebanon, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020.

Protesters have already rejected the new Cabinet saying that although it is going to be made up of experts, the ministers are named by the political groups they blame for Lebanon's problems.

Later in the evening, hundreds of protesters chanting "Revolution" chased a contingent of riot police near the entrance of the mosque, forcing them to withdraw.

They published photos of several injured policemen and a video showing pillars stripped of their tiles, reportedly to be thrown at security forces.

"We don't want a government of masked political figures", the 30-year-old told AFP.

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This week they protested outside banks, calling for an end to the corruption they say has enriched a small, entrenched few at the expense of the rest of the country. A government that satisfies all the political parties has still not been formed.

In recent weeks, panic has begun to set in as the value of the Lebanese pound has plummeted and the influx of foreign goods has ground to a halt in a country that relies mostly on imports for basic necessities.

Meanwhile, banks have imposed informal capital controls, limiting withdrawal of dollars and foreign transfers.

Since the protests started, the economy has been progressively deteriorating and the Lebanese pound has lost its value against the United States dollar, which is widely used in Lebanon.

Lebanese security forces and army units dispersed aggressive protesters in central Beirut after clashes with them, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene.

These were the details of the news Lebanon releases protesters detained after clashes for this day.

The World Bank has warned that the poverty rate in Lebanon may rise from a third to half of the population if the crisis is not solved quickly.

Human rights groups condemned the arrests and what they described as unacceptable violence against largely peaceful protesters.

Forming a new cabinet is often convoluted in Lebanon, where a complex system seeks to maintain balance between the country's many political parties and religious confessions.

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