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Lebanon protests: At least 150 injured in Beirut violence

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Lebanon protests: At least 150 injured in Beirut violence
Copyright  AP Photo/Hussein Malla   -   Hussein Malla
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More than 150 people were injured after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets in Lebanon on Saturday to disperse protesters.

Clashes between police and demonstrators broke out in downtown Beirut after some protesters started throwing stones at police near the parliament building.

Demonstrators threw firecrackers and rocks while police fired tear gas and water cannons.

The clashes between protesters and police come as the financial crisis in the country deepens.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri's Cabinet resigned in late October after protests against government corruption broke out.

Lebanon has one of the largest debt ratios in the world with a debt that stands at more than 150% of the country's GDP.

Calls for calm

President Michel Aoun called on security forces to protect peaceful protesters and work on restoring calm in downtown Beirut.

Hariri wrote on Twitter that the fires and confrontations were "crazy" and threatened "civil peace".

The Lebanese Red Cross said it took 65 people to hospitals and treated 100 others on the spot, calling on people to donate blood.

Earlier this week, protesters carried out acts of vandalism in a main commercial area in Beirut targeting mostly private banks.

The newly designated prime minister Hassan Diab was expected to announce a cabinet on Friday but his latest attempt failed due to political disputes.