By Raya Shartouni
BEIRUT (AA) - At least 20 people were injured late Wednesday in clashes between protesters and security forces in Tripoli district, north of the capital Beirut.
For days, Lebanon sees protests against lockdown and what protestors describes as the "government's inability to stem spread of coronavirus" as hospitals reach maximum capacity
The Lebanese Red Cross said on Twitter it "has dispatched 8 ambulances to the scene [in Tripoli’s Sahet Al Nour square]. Until now, 1 person has been transported to a local hospital and 22 have been treated at the scene.”
Meanwhile, the official Lebanese News Agency reported that a young men "threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the police forces protecting Sahet Al Nour.
"The riot police responded by using water cannons and tear gas bombs to keep the protesters away and prevent them from entering the Square amid the heavy deployment of the Lebanese army," said the agency.
On Thursday, the Lebanese government announced extending the nationwide curfew to Feb. 8, as part of the measures to stem the virus's spread.
Earlier Wednesday, the Lebanese army said in a tweet that 31 soldiers were injured due to an attack by protesters in the city of Tripoli, while five protesters were arrested.
Notably, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri tweeted Wednesday: "There may be parties behind the moves in Tripoli that want to send political messages and there may be those who take advantage of the people's pain and living distress," without directly accusing anyone.
As of Wednesday evening, the total number of COVID-19 infections passed 289,660 in Lebanon, including 2,553 deaths, and at least 171,177 recoveries.
*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara.