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Thursday, August 11, 2022
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Police fire tear gas at Beirut protesters angry over explosion

Lebanese riot police fired tear gas at demonstrators trying to break through a barrier to get to the parliament building in Beirut on Saturday (August 8) during a protest over the government’s handling of this week’s devastating explosion in the city.

About 7,000 people gathered in Martyrs’ Square in the city center, some throwing stones. Police fired tear gas when some protesters tried to break through the barrier blocking a street leading to parliament, a Reuters journalist said.

The protesters chanted “the people want the fall of the regime,” and held posters saying “Leave, you are all killers.”

Tuesday’s (August 4) blast in the port, the biggest explosion in Beirut’s history, killed 158 people, injured 6,000 and destroyed a swathe of the city.

The government has promised to hold those responsible to account.

Some residents, struggling to clean up shattered homes, complain the government they see as corrupt – there had been months of protests against its handling of a deep economic crisis before this week’s disaster – has let them down again.

(Production: Alaa Kanaan, Parniyan Zemaryalai, Bharati Naik)

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