Lebanon’s Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad has stepped down from her post within the embattled government. The news comes as Beirut is gripped by protests following a deadly port explosion.
In a televized address, Samad apologized for failing to meet the “aspirations” of the Lebanese people and called for “unity” as the country recovers from the catastrophic explosion that ripped through Beirut.
“I submit my resignation from the government, wishing for our beloved country Lebanon to recover as soon as possible, and to follow the path of unity, independence and prosperity,” she said.
An estimated 10,000 anti-government demonstrators gathered in the center of the Lebanese capital on Saturday. The protesters later tried storming the parliament building but were repelled by security forces using tear gas and rubber bullets. Hundreds were injured in the clashes, and a police officer was killed. Military personnel were deployed after demonstrators forced their way into numerous government offices, including the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Economy and Trade, the Ministry of Environment, and the Water and Energy Ministry.
Many in Lebanon believe that government negligence led to the massive ammonium nitrate explosion on Tuesday, which killed more than 150 people and caused vast destruction to the city.
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