Thirty-one members of the Lebanese army have been injured in clashes with protesters in northern Lebanon who were demonstrating against the country’s economic woes and a lockdown aimed at stopping the pandemic, the military says.
The army added that five people were arrested for allegedly vandalising public and private properties and attacking security forces during the unrest in the northern city of Tripoli.
Some military vehicles were also damaged in the clashes, it added.
Dozens of protesters took to the streets in Tripoli for the second consecutive day on Tuesday night and clashed with security force.
The protesters defied a country-wide lockdown in place to curb the spread of the virus in the country of nearly 6 million people.
Many protesters chanted: “We want to eat! Ease the lockdown or pay us compensation,” according to witnesses.
Some demonstrators pelted police officers and army members with stones and petrol bombs, they added.
The Lebanese Red Cross tweeted that nine protesters were hospitalised while 36 others were treated on site.
On January 11, Lebanon declared a health emergency and tightened the lockdown to curb a surge in COVID-19 cases and ease the strain on the country’s ailing health sector.
Lebanon’s economic situation has deteriorated drastically since last year, exacerbated by the pandemic and a deadly explosion that hit Beirut’s port in August.