Hundreds gathered on the streets of Beirut to protest the appointment of Mustapha Adib as Lebanon’s new prime minister. The demonstrators were met with tear gas and armored vehicles.
The clashes took place on the same day French President Emmanuel Macron made his second visit to the city in a month to check on reform progress.
Protesters voiced concerns about the appointment of Adib as the head of the nation’s government, claiming he was not radical enough to change the country’s political structure.
In an interview, Macron highlighted the protesters’ failure to produce a leader with the potential for taking charge of the government, following Prime Minister Hassan Diab stepping down and removing his cabinet after the recent major explosion in Beirut killed nearly 200 people.
Police forces deployed armored, military-style vehicles to disperse crowds and used tear gas while demonstrators lobbed projectiles at them.
Protests against Lebanon’s government have been raging since October of last year but slowed down during the Covid-19 pandemic – only to pick up again after the deadly blast in Beirut’s port. The explosion was caused by chemical ammonium nitrate, which had been stored there for years without proper security or safety precautions.
In the wake of the explosion, protesters clashed with police forces, set fires, and even attempted to storm government ministry buildings.
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