Attacks and celebration as Lebanon PM says he will quit

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri has announced his resignation after 13 days of protests over political corruption and economic turmoil.

The prime minister said he had reached a “dead end” and that he would tender his resignation and that of the government to President Michel Aoun.

Mr Hariri said: “For 13 days, the Lebanese people have waited for a decision for a political solution that stops the deterioration. And I have tried, during this period, to find a way out, through which to listen to the voice of the people.”

But he added: “It has become necessary for us to make a great shock to fix the crisis.

“Posts come and go, what matters is the safety and dignity of the people.”

His televised address came soon after violence broke out on the streets, when supporters of two Shia groups attacked a protest camp and a roadblock in Beirut.

They set tents on fire and beat anti-government demonstrators. Some chanted in support of Hezbollah – a powerful force in the coalition government – and the Shia political party Amal.

Riot police and troops responded with tear gas, and by the end of the day, anti-government protesters were back on the streets celebrating Mr Hariri’s announcement.


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