35 injured in clashes between army, protesters in Lebanon

Anti-government protesters smash a bank widow during ongoing protests against the Lebanese central bank's governor and against the deepening financial crisis at Hamra trade street in Beirut Lebanon Tuesday Jan. 14 2020. Lebanese security force

The protests began on October 17.

Hundreds collected once again outside the reserve bank on Wednesday evening, transferring to a police station where more than 50 people were still apprehended following clashes between demonstrators and security forces the previous night.

Elsewhere in Beirut, protesters resumed blocking roads and rallied outside the central bank by nightfall. Security forces injured a Reuters video journalist who was treated in hospital and released, as well as cameramen working for the Lebanese broadcasters Al Jadeed and MTV.

Speaking to foreign diplomats, President Michel Aoun said Tuesday that forming a government in these critical times requires "people who can earn the trust of the people and the parliament".

" Instead what politicians have actually been doing is bickering among themselves over seats in the next cabinet". Meanwhile, security forces have used "excessive" tear gas in densely populated districts and detained more than 100 people, including five minors according to lawyers, in an unprecedented wave of arrests, Ms. Maalouf said.

Although there is no formal policy, most lenders have limited withdrawals of around $ 1,000 per month, while others have imposed stricter restrictions.

Panic and anger gripped the public as they watched their local currency, pegged to the dollar for nearly three decades, plummet, losing more than 60% of its value in recent weeks.

Protesters accuse banks of retaining their deposits as hostages while allowing politicians, senior public officials and bank owners to transfer funds overseas. It has been able to stay afloat financially in recent years only by coaxing Lebanese expatriates to deposit dollars in local banks by paying exorbitantly high rates of interest.

The reserve bank has actually announced it is investigating capital flight, stating it wishes to standardise and regulate the advertisement hoc banking constraints.

Lebanon's under-fire politicians have yet to agree on a new cabinet line-up despite the designation last month of Hassan Diab, a professor and former education minister, to replace Hariri. A new prime minister designate was named in December but has still been unable to form a new government.

Lebanon has been swept by a wave of mostly peaceful protests aimed at the country's elite that prompted Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to resign on October 29, pushing the country deeper into economic crisis.

Authorities condemned the night attacks on Wednesday and asked that the perpetrators be prosecuted.

Hariri called the rampage "inappropriate", while Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri questioned whether the aim was to "ruin the nation".

"Another day of confusion around the formation of a government, amidst the increasingly angry protests and free-falling economy", Kubis tweeted.

Anti-government protesters, who largely blame the country's dire economy on corrupt politicians, say the limits are illegal and have turned their fury against bank officials and the financial sector.



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