Calm returns to restive Lebanese city after violent protests

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protesters in Lebanon
protesters in Lebanon

dpa/GNA – Calm prevailed on Thursday in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli after overnight clashes between security forces and protesters demonstrating against a coronavirus lockdown and economic woes in the country.

Lebanese army troops have deployed in Tripoli’s al-Nour Square, the site of the clashes, witnesses said.

The state Lebanese News Agency NNA reported that one protester died Thursday of injuries he had sustained in the overnight riots.

The Lebanese Red Cross said in an update they had transferred some 35 wounded people to hospitals in Tripoli and had treated 67 others on site.

Hospital sources in Tripoli put the number of injured at more than 200.

The protesters took to the streets in Tripoli demonstrating against an ongoing nationwide lockdown due to a surge in coronavirus numbers.

Protesters had demanded the government offer some kind of compensation for workers affected by the lockdown, witnesses said.

Amnesty International meanwhile called on France to stop supplying Lebanon with French-manufactured rubber bullets, tear gas and grenade launchers, saying they had been used against peaceful protesters.

“France has for years been supplying Lebanese security forces with law enforcement equipment that they then used to commit or facilitate serious human rights violations,” the rights group said in a statement.

“We call on France to ensure that there are no further sales until the Lebanese authorities have acknowledged past violations and most importantly taken action to deter them from reoccurring,” said Aymeric Elluin, an advocacy officer on arms transfers at Amnesty International France.

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