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Security forces clash with protesters in Beirut following deadly blast

Photograph: Mehr News Agency

Security forces clashed with protesters in Beirut during demonstrations against the country’s leadership after a blast on Tuesday at the city’s port killed at least 200 people. 

Security personnel used tear gas and batons against protesters who are demanding the resignation of many of the country’s political elite following the explosion. Protesters were spread throughout the city, and some occupied the Foreign Ministry building for hours until military personnel arrived. Many of the protests centred around Martyrs’ Square, near Parliament. 

While tension has been rising in Lebanon, the blast was the final straw for many protesters who have been facing economic uncertainty, coronavirus spikes, and problems with infrastructure. 

Many people see the government as the reason for the blast, and there is very little faith that those responsible will be held accountable. 

Four members of parliament resigned in solidarity with the protesters. Sami Gemayel, the head of the Christian opposition party, said this was the “birth of a new Lebanon”.

See more from the BBC here, Al Jazeera here and The Guardian here.

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