Lebanon: protesters clash with security forces in Tripoli over lockdown

Lebanon's second largest city has long suffered from poverty and neglect

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Demonstrators clashed with police in Tripoli, Lebanon, on Monday during a protest against deteriorating living conditions and the coronavirus lockdown.

Dozens of protesters took to the streets of Tripoli during the day. Later in the evening, security forces used tear gas and fired rubber bullets to disperse crowds after protesters threw stones at the Tripoli Serail.

The demonstrators expressed anger over lockdown-related fines they had received and at the economic consequences of the nationwide shutdown, the National News Agency reported.

The Lebanese Red Cross said it had sent six teams to Al Nour Square in Tripoli during the clashes. Ambulances took 12 people to hospital, while 29 others received treatment on the ground.

Known as the "bride of the revolution," Tripoli was at the heart of the mass protest movement against corruption and poor economic conditions that rocked Lebanon in October 2019.

The city has been the site of several protests since a more stringent lockdown began on January 14. Many residents say the measures have severely affected their livelihoods. Humanitarian organisations had said that a new lockdown would weigh heavily on the poor and those relying on daily wages.

Another protest against the lockdown was held in the southern coastal city of Sidon the same day.

Lebanon enforced a strict 24-hour curfew on January 14 after Covid-19 cases soared following the December holidays. Non-essential shops have been forced to close, while supermarkets and restaurants are open on a delivery-only basis.

The lockdown, which was meant to end on Wednesday, has been extended until February 8.

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