At least 19 people have been injured in fresh unrest in Lebanon, medics said, after protesters and the military clashed in the wake of the resignation of Lebanon’s prime minister-designate after he failed again to form a cabinet.
The latest unrest was sparked after Lebanon’s prime minister-designate, Saad Hariri, resigned after failing to form a government over the past eight months, having been appointed to establish an administration to address the multiple crises impacting the country.
Protesters clashed with armed forces deployed to restore order in the Jabal Mohsen neighborhood of Tripoli. Footage on social media showed the army firing into the air in an apparent attempt to get the group, who’d gathered to express their anger at the political stalemate and worsening economic situation in the country, to disperse.
According to footage posted by social media users in the area, the army also launched tear gas into the crowd.
Meanwhile in Beirut, video shared on Twitter showed demonstrators hurling objects at armed officers carrying weapons and shields.
The Lebanese Red Cross confirmed that it had five teams on the ground responding to the clashes and transporting the wounded to local medical facilities, with 19 people hospitalized so far.
Five soldiers were also reportedly injured during Friday’s violence after a grenade was hurled at them by a group of young men. It’s not clear if the device had originally been thrown by the military themselves, or if it was first chucked at the soldiers by protesters.
The resignation of Hariri – his second from the post in as many years – underscores the ongoing political troubles within Lebanon, which has been unable to form a permanent government since the then-ruling administration resigned en masse in the wake of the deadly explosion in Beirut in August 2020.
Hariri announced on Thursday that he had “excused [himself] from forming the government” due to disagreements with the nation’s President Michel Aoun over candidates who had been selected to lead the various ministries. “May God help the country,” the outgoing PM-designate added.
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