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56 injured in protests to mark Beirut blast anniversary

August 5, 2021 at 11:47 am

Protesters march towards the port to mark the commemoration of the Beirut blast on 4 August 2021 [Hussam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency]

Fifty-six people were wounded yesterday evening during violent confrontations between Lebanese security forces and protesters who gathered to mark the first anniversary of the Beirut Port blast which killed more than 200 people last year.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu that the victims’ families and protesters gathered in an area close to the site of the explosion, and raised pictures of their loved ones and called to lift the immunity for those responsible for the devastating blast.

Meanwhile, protesters in central Beirut threw stones on anti-riot police forces who in turn fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets in an effort to disperse them.

Lebanon’s Al-Jadeed TV reported that the protesters tried to break into the parliament building, the electricity company and another building housing the Ministry of Economy and Trade.

The Lebanese Red Cross said on Twitter that 11 wounded people had been transferred to hospitals, while 45 wounded people were treated on site.

Meanwhile, the United Nations urged the Lebanese security forces to “exercise restraint and allow people to demonstrate and express themselves peacefully.”

Commenting on the Lebanese security dispersal of protesters, a spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric said “we are concerned about the force we sometimes see, and that we saw during the past year against peaceful demonstrators”

READ: Lebanese president appeals for aid one year on from Beirut port blast