Militants Perpetrate Violence Against Demonstrators

Nov 27, 2019

On 25 November 2019, militants affiliated with the Hizballah and al-Amal Shiite groups perpetrated violence against demonstrators in cities across Lebanon. In the capital Beirut, the militants opened fire on supporters of outgoing Prime Minister Saad el-Hariri at the city’s Cola Junction, located near Municipal Stadium. Military personnel quickly intervened to break up the clashes and there were no reports of casualties.

Meanwhile, in the southern city of Tyre, located approximately 85 km (50 mi) south of Beirut, the militants attacked anti-government protesters and destroyed protest encampments in the city’s al-Alam square. Security forces intervened to protect the demonstrators by firing live ammunition into the air; at least three people were injured during the clashes in Tyre.

Analyst Comment: Hizballah and al-Amal supporters view the ongoing anti-government protests — particularly the protesters’ demands for a technocratic government — as an existential threat to the existing power structure in Lebanon, from which both groups have benefited economically and politically. The use of armed violence against protesters marks a significant escalation and travelers should monitor developments closely.

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