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Watch Grim Footage in Violence Plagued Downtown Beirut Amid Clashes Between Police, Protesters

© SputnikScreengrab from video by Sputnik Arabic correspondent on violence in Beirut, August 8, 2020.
Screengrab from video by Sputnik Arabic correspondent on violence in Beirut, August 8, 2020. - Sputnik International
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The Lebanese capital descended into chaos on Saturday in the wake of Tuesday’s massive explosion in Beirut’s port, which killed at least 157 people, injured over 5,000 others and displaced 300,000 more. Demonstrators are calling for the nation’s government to resign.

A Sputnik Arabic correspondent in downtown Beirut has filmed dramatic footage of the situation in capital amid ongoing clashes between protesters and security forces.

The footage shows dozens of even hundreds of police standing guard outside a building as an alarm goes off, with debris strewn around roads and sidewalks, and laser beams pointing through the smoke-filled air as a fire burns in the distance.

On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators flocked to the streets in the center of the capital, with police deploying tear gas and protesters throwing rocks and other projectiles. Demonstrators stormed several buildings in the downtown area, with some of them set on fire.

A group of retired officers entered the Foreign Ministry, Environment and Economy buildings, with others taking over the Association of Banks building, and the Ministry of Energy and Water. Later, media reported that the Lebanese Army had stepped in to expel protesters holed up in the Foreign Ministry building.

Lebanese security forces advance during clashes with protesters in downtown Beirut on August 8, 2020, following a demonstration against a political leadership they blame for a monster explosion that killed more than 150 people and disfigured the capital Beirut.  - Sputnik International
Beirut Live Updates: Over 70 Security Officers Injured, One Dead in Clashes With Protesters
According to Lebanese Red Cross figures, over 230 protesters have been injured, with 55 transferred to hospital. At least one police officer has been killed and multiple others have also been injured in the unrest.

In an address on Lebanese television on Saturday, Prime Minister Hassan Diab called for fresh parliamentary elections to be held, and blamed years of corruption and mismanagement for the circumstances culminating in the deadly August 4 ammonium nitrate explosion in Beirut’s port.

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