Lebanon’s police fired tear gas to try to clear rock-throwing demonstrators blocking a road near the parliament in Beirut on Sunday, the second day of anti-government protests caused last week’s devastating explosion. Fire broke out at the entrance to Parliament Square as the demonstrators tried to break into a cordoned-out area, TV footage showed. Protesters also broke into the offices of the Ministry of Housing and Transport.
Tuesday’s explosion of more than 2,000 tons of ammonium nitrate killed 158 people and wounded more than 6,000, compounding the months of political and economic collapse and calling for an end to the government. Riot police wearing body armor and bars clashed with protesters as thousands converged on Parliament Square and nearby Martyrs Square, Reuters’s correspondent.
Approximately 10,000 people gathered at Martyrs’ Square, which in the evening was transformed into a battle zone between the police and the protesters who tried to break down a barrier on the road to parliament. Some protesters have stormed government ministries and the Lebanese Banks Association.