At least 728 people were injured in clashes with authorities as thousands of protesters poured out into the streets of central Beirut as riot police fired tear gas at people trying to break down a barricade into parliament building . A police officer is also said to have been killed.
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab has called for early polls following Tuesday’s deadly blast, saying it was the only way out of the country’s crisis.
Lebanese authorities arrested 19 people as part of the investigation.
At least 158 people were killed in the explosion and more than 6,000 others were injured, but the number is expected to increase as search and rescue operations continue to search for missing people.
Here are the latest updates:
Sunday, August 9
00:10 GMT – Lebanese authorities are accused of excessive use of force
According to a journalist with independent news site The Public Source, at least 14 other journalists and media workers were under attack while reporting on the latest rallies in Lebanon.
Authorities have been accused of using excessive force on protesters, who have demonstrated against the government’s action following Tuesday’s deadly blast in Beirut.
Excessive use of force ☑️
Attack screen ☑️
Repeating the same mistakes ☑️ # Beirut #LebanonProtests https://t.co/CLAQQ7nux1
– Rawya Rageh (@RawyaRageh) August 8, 2020
Saturday, August 8
23:35 GMT – Hundreds of people were injured during protests in Beirut
More than 728 people were injured after protests in the Lebanese capital Beirut in response to a deadly blast that killed at least 158 people on Tuesday.
Protesters have asked the government to act in the wake of the economic crisis the country is facing even before the disaster.
18:59 GMT – The Lebanese army expels protesters from the foreign ministry
The Lebanese army drove off a group of protesters that had occupied the State Department building in central Beirut a few hours earlier.
Protesters, led by retired military officers, burst into the building and declared it the “headquarters of the revolution”, but they were deported three hours later as the army grew. reinforcements flooded in.
18:38 GMT – The US said it supports Lebanese right to peaceful protests, calls for political reform
The US government supports Lebanese protesters’ right to peaceful demonstrations and urges all involved to curb the violence, the US Embassy in Beirut said.
The embassy also said in a tweet that Lebanese people “deserve leaders to listen to them and change course in response to widespread demands for transparency and accountability”.
1/2 The Lebanese have suffered too much and deserve leaders who listen to them and change course to meet the prevailing demands of transparency and accountability.
– The US Embassy of Beirut (@useosystemybeirut) August 8, 2020
18:13 GMT – Army and protesters clash near Beirut’s main highway
An Al Jazeera reporter said military soldiers and protesters clashed on the main Beirut ring road near the city center as anti-government protests continued.
The army attacked protesters with sticks, beating a large number of them, while the protesters responded by throwing stones at the army.
“Take off your suit and come stand with us, then you can wear it honorably again,” said one protester as some of them confronted an army.
“Tell us what you get when you are with them? We don’t really understand that, why are you doing this to us?”
16:57 GMT – The latest figures from the Lebanese Red Cross come from the protest website
– At least 238 protesters were injured in central Beirut;
– 63 protesters were transported to nearby hospitals;
– 175 others have been treated at the scene of the demonstrations.
16:38 GMT – Storm Demonstrator HQ Banking Association, Department of Energy
A group of protesters stormed the Bankers Association of Lebanon, as well as the Lebanese Energy Ministry as part of their attempt to take over the country’s ministries.
ABL head Salim Sfeir and CB Governor Riad Salameh, two key figures in the collapse of the pound and the Lebanese economy.
Protesters stormed the Association of Banks, “سقطت.”
Banks were closed after the #BeirutExplosions explosion when people needed the money withheld most. # سبت_الإنتقام pic.twitter.com/oxs9vYN8hC
– Lara Bitar (@LaraJBitar) August 8, 2020
16:18 GMT – Police are killed in clash with protesters in Beirut, police said
A Lebanese police officer was killed in clashes with protesters in central Beirut, a police spokesman said.
Protests against the ruling political establishment have also injured more than 100 people and hospitalized dozens of people.
Al Jazeera and news agencies