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Sunday, December 15, 2019  
 
 
 
Printable Page Headline News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13
 
 
Lebanese Burn Political Party Offices  12/15 09:05

   BEIRUT (AP) -- Attackers in northern Lebanon set fire to the offices of two 
major political parties on Sunday, the state-run National News Agency said.

   The assaults came just hours after the capital Beirut was rocked by the most 
violent government crackdown on protesters since nationwide demonstrations 
began two months ago. Lebanese security forces fired rubber bullets, tear gas 
and used water cannons throughout the night to disperse anti-government 
protesters from the city center --- the epicenter of the protest movement in 
Beirut --- and around parliament.

   The overnight confrontations in Beirut left more than 130 people injured, 
according to the Red Cross and the Lebanese Civil Defense. 

   In the northern Akkar district on Sunday, attackers broke the windows and 
torched the local office for resigned Prime Minister Saad Hariri's political 
party in the town of Kharibet al-Jindi. 

   In a separate attack in Akkar district, assailants stormed the local office 
of the largest party in parliament, affiliated with President Michel Aoun and 
headed by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil. The party said the contents of the 
office in the town of Jedidat al-Juma had also been smashed and burned.

   Lebanon is facing one of its worst economic crises in decades, and the 
protesters accuse the ruling political class in place for three decades of 
mismanagement and corruption.

   The violence comes a day before the president is due to hold talks with 
different parliamentary blocs to name a new prime minister on Monday.

   Interior Minister Raya al-Hassan on Sunday ordered an investigation into the 
clashes which she said injured both protesters and security forces. She said 
she watched the confrontations "with concern, sadness and shock." 

   Al-Hassan blamed "infiltrators" for instigating the friction and called on 
the demonstrators to be wary of those who want to exploit their protests for 
political reasons. She didn't elaborate. 

   Nationwide protests began on Oct. 17, and the government headed by Hariri 
resigned two weeks later.

   Political parties have since been bickering over the shape and form of the 
new Cabinet. Protesters want a technocratic government, not affiliated with 
established political parties.

   After weeks of back and forth, Hariri has emerged as the likely candidate 
for the job.


(KR)

 
 
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