Violent Anti-Government Protests Continue

Apr 29, 2020

As of 28 April 2020, violent anti-government protests continue in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. Earlier in the day, protesters threw Molotov cocktails and set fire in at least two banks, including the Banque Libnano Francaise, in Tripoli, and security forces deployed tear gas in an effort to disperse the protesters. There were no reports of casualties due to the clashes on 28 April, which occurred amid the funeral of a man killed in the violence overnight on 27-28 April. Clashes between protesters and police officers initially began on 27 April. Protesters vandalized and set fire to multiple vehicles and banks near Tripoli’s al-Nour square and the Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood to denounce the depreciation of the Lebanese pound and the increase price of food. Police officers fired tear gas and used live ammunition to disperse the crowds, killing one of the demonstrators. Protesters threw Molotov cocktails and hand grenades at the security forces, injuring at least four officers.

Analyst Comment: The economic situation has deteriorated rapidly in Lebanon in recent weeks, after the value of the Lebanese pound precipitously decreased, to an exchange rate of 4,000 Lebanese pounds to the U.S. dollar. Protesters are particularly angry with the banking sector, as banks have imposed capital controls, limiting customers’ ability to withdraw funds.

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