Lebanese authorities bring in army to fight street protests

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Lebanese authorities bring in army to fight street protests

In Lebanon’s capital Beirut, mechanized patrols of the Lebanese army blocked the roads to the presidential palace of Baabda on March 6, blocking the path of a column of demonstrators on motorcycles.

An eyewitness told TASS correspondent that “a large group of protest activists was stopped by the soldiers and could not approach the palace.” According to him, the action was held as part of the opposition’s calls for the resignation of the head of the republic, Michel Aoun.

Earlier, protesters blocked major avenues, overpasses, and tunnels in Beirut, thus expressing their outrage at the record fall of the national currency exchange rate from 8,000 to 10,700 Lebanese pounds to one dollar. The collapse of the national currency led to an increase in the price of food, gasoline and basic goods, which caused unrest throughout Lebanon.

On 6 March, the Coordinating Council of the Protest Movement called for a general civil disobedience campaign, but there has been no reaction to that initiative from the main political forces and trade unions. For his part, Qataib Christian Party leader Sami Zmayel demanded that members of Lebanon’s unicameral parliament resign, paving the way for early general elections.

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“Neither the president nor the parliamentary majority was able to cope with the crisis and save the country from collapse, and now the people must elect a new Lebanese leadership,” he told Al Hadath TV.
According to the news portal El Nashra, overnight there were clashes between demonstrators from different political camps in several parts of the country. The activists were stabbed to death in Jiyeh and Haldeh, south of Beirut, and eight were injured in crashes involving firearms.