Anti-govt protesters clash with police in Beirut, Lebanon

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Clashes sparked between police and demonstrators on the streets of Beirut on Saturday night after the main base of Lebanon’s anti-government protests was attacked for the second time in a week. Hundreds of protesters, including women, had gathered outside the parliament before several people attacked the rally, prompting security forces to fire tear gas to push them back.

The clashes then spread to streets surrounding the camp, engulfing the area with smoke from the tear gas. Security forces chased protesters around central Beirut, some firing several volleys of tear gas from armoured vehicles with multiple launchers.

The rise in tensions comes as politicians have failed to agree on forming a new government. It was the second time this week that pro-Hezbollah and Shiite Amal supporters tried to attack the protest camp, angered by demonstrators’ criticism of their leaders.

The violence comes only two days away from consultations between the president and parliamentary blocs to name a prime minister. Protesters have been calling for a new government unaffiliated with establishment political parties. The government headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned October 29, two weeks after the nationwide protests began.

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