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  • A protester waves a Lebanese flag as another one stands on a road sign at a demonstration blocking the highway during ongoing anti-government protests in Hazmiyeh, Lebanon November 13, 2019.

    A protester waves a Lebanese flag as another one stands on a road sign at a demonstration blocking the highway during ongoing anti-government protests in Hazmiyeh, Lebanon November 13, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 November 2019

Fights broke out on Wednesday in the predominantly Christian area of Jal al-Dib near Beirut, where protesters faced off with other people including Aoun supporters angered by roadblocks, footage broadcast by the LBC television channel showed.

A new wave of protests paralyzed Lebanon on Wednesday after President Michel Aoun enraged demonstrators by urging them to end their revolt against corruption and cronyism in the political establishment.

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One month after the eruption of nationwide protests, Lebanon is in deep political and economic crisis with no sign of its leaders agreeing on a new government to replace the outgoing cabinet of Saad al-Hariri, who quit as premier on Oct. 29.

Banks, which were shut for half of October, closed again this week over staff security concerns. Most transfers out of the country have been blocked and, with U.S. dollars scarce, the pegged Lebanese pound is weakening on a black market.

Though the protests have been overwhelmingly peaceful, tensions have surfaced since Tuesday evening when Aoun gave a televised interview in which he said Lebanon faced “catastrophe” if the revolt did not stop.

After he spoke, protesters took to the streets across Lebanon and one was shot and killed after an altercation with Lebanese soldiers at a roadblock south of Beirut.

The man was a follower of Walid Jumblatt, a veteran Druze politician and former civil war militia leader, who has urged his supporters to remain calm.

Protesters blocked roads again on Wednesday.

Fights broke out on Wednesday in the predominantly Christian area of Jal al-Dib near Beirut, where protesters faced off with other people including Aoun supporters angered by roadblocks, footage broadcast by the LBC television channel showed.

President Michel Aoun said on Wednesday economic conditions in Lebanon were deteriorating further as a result of the situation in the country but the start of oil and gas exploration would help to gradually improve things.

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