On Tuesday afternoon, Beirut witnessed violence between security forces and a large number of protesters that resulted in injuries and notable material damage.
During the protests, some people resorted to vandalizing several properties and smashing storefronts in the center of the capital.
Among other buildings, the headquarters of the Lebanese newspaper Annahar, located in Martyrs’ Square, sustained damage after vandals set the entrance of a restaurant on its ground floor on fire.
#عاجل #لبنان… بدء اطفاء الحريق الذي اندلع في مدخل مبنى "النهار".@Annahar @AnnaharAr#النهار_العربي#النهار pic.twitter.com/ElomighJJE— Annahar Al Arabi (@AnnaharAr) September 1, 2020
#عاجل #لبنان… بدء اطفاء الحريق الذي اندلع في مدخل مبنى "النهار".@Annahar @AnnaharAr#النهار_العربي#النهار pic.twitter.com/ElomighJJE
The fire soon spread deeper into the building and spiraled out of control. Consequently, Civil Defense units were called in and worked alongside the Lebanese Army to extinguish the fire.
On its part, Annahar said that the incident stemmed from “suspicious activities that betray hidden hatred and the implementation of an agenda that entails absolutely no innocence.”
It’s worth noting that Annahar’s building was recently damaged by the Beirut Port explosion on August 4th.
@Annahar النهار الان pic.twitter.com/4B3THIIsp7— michelle tueini (@michelletueini) September 1, 2020
@Annahar النهار الان pic.twitter.com/4B3THIIsp7
It was estimated that around 30,000 buildings sustained various levels of damage from the blast, which killed close to 200 people, injured thousands, and displaced countless others.
Many Lebanese social media users condemned the vandalism that targeted Annahar, pointing out that its building and Beirut as a whole have witnessed enough damage from the recent tragedy.
Others considered the act an attack on free speech and honest journalism that “resembled the criminality of the political class responsible for the port explosion.”
“The revolution is not about encroaching on people’s property,” one Twitter user said. “…Free and honest media is embodied in this institution,” another attested.
As if the damage from the explosion wasn't enough for @Annahar, it's building was set on fire moments ago— Georgy Azar (@Georgi_Azar) September 1, 2020
As if the damage from the explosion wasn't enough for @Annahar, it's building was set on fire moments ago
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