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Lebanon: Protesters block roads linking Beirut and provinces

Lebanon demonstrations

Demonstrators in Lebanon closed the main roads linking Beirut to the provinces in the north, south, mountains and Beqaa, Monday. Demonstrations entered their twelfth day in protest against the living conditions and rampant corruption and in demand of the departure of all current political leaders.

This escalation came despite calls by political officials to open roads. However, protesters cut off the main highway linking the north to the south.

A general call was circulated, Sunday, via social media inviting citizens to adopt a new method of cutting roads, through parking in the middle of the streets, under the slogan "Monday of Cars".

Police forces seen in Lebanon after protesters blocked the road on 28 October 2019

Police forces seen in Lebanon after protesters blocked the road on 28 October 2019

This morning, major roads were blocked by hundreds of cars and sit-ins.

Protesters clashed with the security forces in the city of Sidon as the army tried to open the road in the area.

The Lebanese National News Agency reported that three protesters were injured in Sidon during the army's attempt to open a road closed by protesters. It stated that the injuries occurred following a clash between the protesters and the military, while the latter tried to open the Sidon Highway One. Thus, the army has managed to reopen the road later.

WATCH: 170,000 form human chain across Lebanon

Ali, 21, who was among a group of demonstrators blocking a significant bridge in the capital, told Agence France-Presse (AFP): "If the corrupt ruling authority is not aware that the country is paralysed, we will not be able to make an impact … and fulfil our demands."

Protesters blocked the road in Lebanon on 28 October 2019

Protesters blocked the road in Lebanon on 28 October 2019

Lebanese security forces were expected to make a new attempt to open roads, at a time when the country has been paralysed, i.e. schools, universities and banks have been closed for more than ten days.

The army and security forces have tried in recent days to open several closed roads in different parts of the country, but the demonstrators resisted all efforts.

On Sunday, tens of thousands of Lebanese citizens formed a human chain stretching from the north to the south of the country at a distance of 170 km, symbolising the national unity devoted during the demonstrations across all Lebanese communities and regions.

The unprecedented social protests erupted on 17 October, after the government approved a tax on Internet communications.

 

Although the government backtracked that decision, the protest's continued in the context the state's failure to meet the public's basic needs such as water, electricity and health 30 years after the end of the civil war (1975-1990).

Lebanon's ruling class consists mostly of leaders who were present in the country during the civil war. Most of these politicians have been in power for nearly three decades, generally presenting a particular religious group or region.

 

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