Police in Beirut fire tear gas on second day of protests, two ministers step down
BEIRUT (LEBANON) – Police in Beirut fired tear gas to disperse protesters who gathered in the Lebanese capital on Sunday for the second consecutive day of anti-government agitations. This was triggered by last week’s devastating explosion that flattened large swathes of the city and left 158 dead.
As protesters tried to barge into a cordoned-off area a fire broke out at the entrance of Parliament Square, according to local media. They also broke into the offices of the housing and transport ministries.
In the backdrop of the blast and the ongoing economic crisis, two ministers stepped down, saying the government has failed to introduce reforms.
The explosion on Tuesday was the flashpoint for the citizens fed up with months of economic crisis and government inaction.
Police in riot gear clashed with protesters as thousands thronged Parliament Square.
“We gave these leaders so many chances to help us and they always failed. We want them all out, especially Hezbollah, because it’s a militia and just intimidates people with its weapons,” Walid Jamal, an unemployed demonstrator, said.
Head of the country’s influential Maronite Church Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai, said the cabinet should resign as it cannot “change the way it governs”.
“The resignation of an MP or a minister is not enough … the whole government should resign as it is unable to help the country recover,” he said in his homily on Sunday.
The same day, the environment minister announced his resignation, saying the government had lost a number of chances to reform.
Damianos Kattar’s exit follows the resignation of Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad earlier on Sunday.
in the wake of the explosion.
Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field