Protesters In Lebanon Call On The Army To Release 17 Year-Old-Boy

Nizar Hassan

A large number of protesters burned tires at Tripoli’s Abou Ali roundabout, calling on the army to release 17-year-old Talal Shaaban whom they claim to have been wrongly accused of setting Tripoli’s municipality building on fire on Thursday evening.

This comes after the Lebanese army arrested five suspects accused of the involvement in the overnight torching of the municipal building, not long after rioters set fire to several buildings.

Tripoli, Lebanon’s second-largest city, hasn’t seen a peaceful day in almost a week, as people’s anger has boiled over at the growing poverty worsened by repeated and extended lockdowns with no assistance from the authorities.

Clashes between the Tripolitans and riot police have turned deadly, claiming two lives and dozens of injured so far.

It prompted people in several areas of Lebanon to take to the streets on Saturday in a stand of solidarity.

In Beirut, they gathered outside the house of the caretaker Interior Minister Mohamed Fehmi, chanting slogans condemning the violence and oppression against the protesters in Tripoli.

During the same day, the state-run news agency NNA reported that the army’s director of operations, General Jean Chidiac, conducted a security meeting in Tripoli, during which he urged coordination between law enforcement agencies.

Gen. Chidiac announced that the military is ready to provide support in order to ensure civil peace in the northern capital, including preventing riots.

Meanwhile, the people continue with their protests, which are nothing less than a scream of pain for an awakening of consciousness still undetected among the ruling leaders.

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