Violent Clashes Between Protesters, Police Continue In Central Beirut

BEIRUT (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 16th December, 2019) The unrest in central Beirut continue with a group of anti-government protesters throwing stones at police officers and servicemen, while law enforces are responding with tear gas to disperse demonstrators, a participant of the rally told Sputnik.

"Just like yesterday, a group of provocateurs started throwing stones at the police and firing fireworks in their direction. Police fired tear gas after several warnings and the crowd retreated to the building of The An-Nahar newspaper," the participant said.

According to the eyewitness, several groups of young people have broken store windows in nearby streets.

Ambulances and army reinforcements continue arriving at the scene, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

Clashes started on Saturday when supporters of Shiite groups in Lebanon attempted to attack peaceful protesters in the capital city only to provoke local police into retaliating with tear gas and batons. Law enforcement officers managed to return calm by making a truce with rioters who had spent hours trying to break through barricades surrounding protest camps at Martyr's Square and Ring Bridge. However, on Sunday, the clashes resumed.

Lebanon has been rocked by nationwide protests since October 17, which forced the government to stand down weeks later. Demonstrations started over the continuing economic crisis that protesters blame on the government's mismanagement.