BEIRUT (Reuters) – Protesters across Lebanon blocked roads with burning tires on Friday and marched in Beirut for a second day of demonstrations targeting the government over a deep economic crisis.
In Lebanon’s biggest protest in years, thousands of people gathered outside the government headquarters in central Beirut on Thursday evening, forcing the cabinet to backtrack on plans to raise a new tax on WhatsApp voice calls. Tear gas was fired as some demonstrators and police clashed in the early hours.
Fires - Street - Beirut - Friday - Morning
Fires lit in the street in central Beirut were smouldering on Friday morning. Pavements were scattered with the glass of several smashed shop-fronts and billboards had been torn down.
Protesters blocked roads in the north, the south and the Bekaa Valley, among other areas, the National News Agency (NNA) reported. Schools were closed on the instructions of the government.
People - State - Protester - Town - Jeita
“We are one people united against the state. We want it to fall,” a protester in the town of Jeita, 15 km (9 miles) said. “Revolution, revolution!” they chanted.
Two foreign workers choked to death from a fire that spread to a building near the protests in Beirut, the NNA said.
Wave - Protests - Month
This was the second wave of nationwide protests this month.
In a country fractured along sectarian lines, the unusually wide geographic reach of these protests has been seen as a sign of deepening anger with politicians who have jointly led Lebanon into crisis.
Government - Lebanon - Parties - Reforms - Vital
The government, which includes nearly all of Lebanon’s main parties, is struggling to implement long-delayed reforms that are seen as more vital than ever to begin resolving the crisis.
The Lebanese newspaper an-Nahar described it as “a tax intifada”, or uprising,...
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