One dead, dozens injured in Lebanon riots with banks smashed

One man died on Tuesday after violent clashes in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli that left dozens injured after the Lebanese army used live fire, rubber-coated rounds, and tear gas to clear angry protesters.

Thousands of protesters across Lebanon blocked roads, attacked banks, and marched through streets throughout Monday in response to the local currency’s rapid devaluation, which has led millions to lose quite half the worth of their salaries and savings.

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A 26-year-old man’s sister, Fatima Fouad, said in a very Facebook post that her brother, Fouaz Fouad al-Seman, died as a results of live gunfire by Lebanese soldiers.

An army source confirmed to Al Jazeera that troops used live fire, but said they shot within the air, not at protesters. The source also confirmed a person died, but said it absolutely was unclear how, adding rubber-coated bullets and tear gas were used on demonstrators.

Lebanon is suffering its worst-ever financial crisis that has led to a dollar shortage, which successively has seen the Lebanese monetary unit tumble by quite 50 percent within the last six months.

Unprecedented anti-establishment protests that began last October had mostly disappeared because the country went into lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic, but dire living conditions brought people back to the streets in a minimum of two-dozen locations since Sunday.

Northern Tripoli, Lebanon’s second-largest and poorest city, saw the most important protests on Monday with many demonstrators taking to the streets. things quickly become riots as banks were vandalised and set alight.

Lebanon’s army said 54 soldiers were among the wounded during attempts to open roads and quell riots across the country. Forty troops were injured in incidents in Tripoli.

“The army leadership, while reaffirming its respect for the proper of citizens to precise their opinions, warns of some attempts to take advantage of demonstrations to hold out actions that affect security and stability,” a press release said, adding the military “will never tolerate any violation of security”.

The Lebanese army said two soldiers were injured when a grenade was thrown at a military patrol, while a military vehicle was torched using Molotov cocktails within the middle of Tripoli’s Al-Nour square, the center of anti-establishment protests that broke go in October of last year.

Molotov cocktails are thrown at a minimum of five banks since the weekend, including within the capital Beirut.

Banks have for 6 months been limiting withdrawals of the local currency and have entirely phased out withdrawals in foreign currencies that were previously standard.

Video from Monday night showed protesters raining a hail of rocks on soldiers in Tripoli, while the sound of heavy gunfire may be heard. Protesters also took to the streets in southern Sidon, chanting “Molotov, Molotov, rather than a candle, Molotov,” outside an area branch of the financial institution.

Lebanon’s protests began as a largely peaceful uprising last year, when many thousands took to the streets to demand political change and an end to endemic corruption that sapped the state’s resources. But over the previous couple of months, they need become more desperate as people struggle to form ends meet and secure basic needs, including food.

Human Rights Watch has warned millions could go hungry unless the govt puts forward a sturdy social-safety net. But when the cupboard sought to urge approval for an outsized spending bill at a parliament session earlier this month, quorum was lost and also the decision postponed.

“This may be a letter to every corrupt politician,” a protester in Tripoli said to his camera Monday night. “When we the Lebanese people get hungry, we’re visiting remove you one by oneā€¦ We’re coming for you one by one.”

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