Intense clashes rock Beirut as Hezbollah backers attack protest camps

The Times of Israel

Lebanese capital sees some of worst violence in months of demonstrations as security forces respond to fighting between rival groups

By Agencies |

Lebanese riot police clash with anti-government demonstrators (background) in the capital Beirut on December 14, 2019. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Security forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas while clashing with anti-government protesters and with men who tried to attack the protest camp in Beirut on Saturday, setting off street confrontations that lasted for hours.

The violence was some of the worst in the capital since demonstrations began two months ago.

The violence Saturday started when young men from a neighborhood known as a stronghold for supporters of the Shiite Amal and Hezbollah groups attacked the epicenter of anti-government protests, chanting “Shiite, Shiite.”

It was the second time this week that pro-Hezbollah and Amal supporters tried to attack the protest camp, angered by demonstrators’ criticism of their leaders.

Later, clashes erupted at the entrance to the street leading to parliament, which was blocked by security forces. Several people attacked the rally, prompting security forces to fire tear gas to push them back.

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About Cholo Brooks 11635 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.