Clashes break out in anti-government protests near Tripoli, Lebanon

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By Euronews  with AFP, AP
Clashes break out in anti-government protests near Tripoli, Lebanon
Copyright  Associated Press

Clashes broke out near Tripoli with the army using tear gas to disperse civilians and firing rubber bullets.

The Lebanese army said they were "forced to fire in the air" to separate protesters from citizens driving their cars, according to a statement released by the government's National Information Agency.

The Lebanese Red Cross said on Twitter that at least three people were wounded and that they had teams transporting the wounded in the area.

Anti-government protesters in Beirut, meanwhile, blocked a main route in the city, but as security forces attempted to remove protesters from the streets, people returned and gave them flowers.

"We don't want life to continue as normal, not in Beirut or in Lebanon because life in this country isn't normal anymore," said 31-year-old Karim.

This is the tenth day of anti-government protests in a nation suffering from an economic crisis.

People are attempting to use social media to organise a human chain along the entirety of the Lebanese coast on Sunday, AFP reported.

Lebanon is ranked 138 of 180 countries on Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index 2018.

Demonstrators have been calling for the entire political class to resign and for the government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to be held accountable for corruption, unemployment, and national debt representing 150% of GDP.

The country has also been destabilised by an influx of over one million Syrian refugees.