Dozens hurt as police, protesters clash in Beirut protests

Beirut: Clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, have left dozens of people injured, a media report said on Sunday.

The violence on Saturday began as demonstrators, who had been attacked during a sit-in by masked counter-protesters, tried to move into a square near Parliament, the BBC said in the report.

The police fired tear gas and rubber bullets, while protesters threw stones.

“It was a very peaceful protest. Everyone was singing chants that we’re one people, that we’re all peaceful and then some of the young guys pushed one of the fences that separated us,” a protester told the BBC.

“We saw an enormous amount of police come out and really disperse us, push us and then they started (firing) tear gas on us. There was really no reason for all this demonstration of force.”

Saturday’s clashes were some of the worst violence since the largely peaceful protests, against the economic mismanagement by the ruling elite, started, triggering the resignation of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.

Talks between President Michel Aoun and parliamentary blocs to name a new prime minister were expected to be held on Monday.

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