BEIRUT (Dispatches) – Lebanon’s army is in control of the center of the country’s second-largest city, Tripoli, after demonstrators in the city clashed with police, local media reported.
On Monday, demonstrators threw stones at the city hall building in Tripoli, in northern Lebanon, protesting coronavirus restrictions. Another protest was held in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, where demonstrators blocked a major road in the city center.
According to the Lebanese Al Jadeed TV, police used tear gas against protesters in Tripoli, however, this did not make them leave the area around the city hall resulting in the military being called in. Troops forced protesters out of the city center and into nearby streets.
Five protesters and three members of the Internal Security Forces were injured on Monday in Tripoli, when protests triggered clashes.
Protesters gathered near the headquarter of Tripoli government to demonstrate against the ongoing lockdown in the country, then started to throw stones at security forces, which caused the injury of three security officers.
The riot police responded by firing tear gas and using batons to disperse the crowd. A dozens of the protesters were arrested on site.
Jalal Salma, one of the protesters, said that they march every day to demonstrate against the city’s closure.
"Tripoli is a poor city and most of its residents rely on earning an income from their daily work; depriving people of work means they will likely starve to death,” he said.
The Lebanese government has imposed a total lockdown until Feb. 8 to curb the pandemic. Doctors in the country called for an extension of the lockdown as the virus continues to spread quickly.
Lebanon registered on Monday 2,652 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the tally to 282,249. The death toll from the virus went up by 54 to 2,374 in the country, the health ministry reported.