Lebanon: outgoing PM calls for arrest of 'thugs'

After assault on city hall in Tripoli, focus of protests

29 January, 14:37

    (ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, 29 GEN - Outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab called on Friday for arresting and bringing to justice the "thugs" responsible for attacks and fires at various buildings in Tripoli on Thursday night, including city hall.

    In a statement released by the government's National News Agency (NNA), Diab said "condemning the attack is not enough to compensate the cost paid by Tripoli, a city used by certain parties to send explosive political messages".

    On Thursday evening, for the fourth consecutive day, Tripoli - the main port in northern Lebanon and long considered the poorest city in the country - was the site of violent clashes by protesters demonstrating against the lack of government support for growing poverty amidst a prolonged economic crisis made worse by anti-Covid measures.

    "The criminals who set fire to Tripoli's city hall, and tried to set fire to the religious tribunal, showed their resentment against the city," Diab said.

    "Now we must arrest these criminals so they can be held responsible for what they did," he said, calling for an investigation to be opened.

    Diab called those responsible for the attacks "thugs".

    The violence that has gone on nearly uninterrupted since Monday evening has thus far killed two protesters and caused more than 300 people to be injured, including about 30 soldiers and police officers.

    Amnesty International and local humanitarian organisations documented violence committed against protesters by law enforcement.(ANSAmed).

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