Lebanese security forces clash with anti-government protesters

Lebanese security forces clash with anti-government protesters
Security forces detained 39 activists attempting to enter a square near Beirut's parliament on Wednesday, as political leaders launched a new round of national dialogue, amid calls for more protests.
2 min read
16 September, 2015
Protesters and civil society movements assembled this morning in Beirut's Martyrs' Square after calls for a mass protest by the You Stink campaign and the families of Lebanese hostages kidnapped by jihadists last year.

You Stink and other umbrella activist groups are leading a campaign against political corruption, triggered by an ongoing waste crisis.

Meanwhile, the families of the kidnapped Lebanese soldiers and policemen have joined forces with the activists to protest the government's failure to secure the release of their relatives.

The demonstrators reportedly attempted to block all entrances to the Parliament, to prevent politicians from reaching the national dialogue session.

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The security forces detained at least 39 activists according to local media, prompting clashes between the riot police in the heavily fortified downtown area and the demonstrators.

Reports also indicate 11 protesters were injured in the scuffles.

A video shared on social media showed police dragging protesters into a security vehicle.

The anti-goverment demonstrators have since declared an open-ended sit-in in downtown Beirut until all protesters are released

At noon, the dialogue session convened despite the demonstrators' attempts to block entrances, after convoys carrying politicians entered the area using back roads.

The dialogue concluded without much results, except declaring a new meeting would be held later this month.

The national dialogue talks follow sharp differences between the Lebanese rival parties over a protracted political crisis that has plunged Lebanon into a presidential vacuum, and paralysed both the parliament and government.