"The clashes between followers of the Hezbollah [movement], the Amal Movement and police are taking place on the Ring Bridge near the Martyr's Square and the Riad Al Solh Square. Police are using tear gas to prevent aggressive groups from access to peaceful demonstrators. Followers of the Shia parties are throwing stones to police officers", the eyewitnesses said.
Heavy clashes in Downtown #Beirut tonight. Serious street fights between security forces and supporters of the #Amal movement. #Berri supporters are shouting “Shia, Shia” .Tons of teargas in the air. #lebanonprotest #Lebanon pic.twitter.com/KgYkubaFaZ— julius (@glr_berlin) December 12, 2019
Some Lebanese media also report that Shia activists were throwing Molotov cocktails at police officers.
احراق خيمة (The Hub) التي تدعو إلى الحياد والتطبيع مع العدو الصهيوني في ساحة العازارية pic.twitter.com/1CVc65Homo— fadi jouni (@fady_jouni) December 11, 2019
The situation on the Ring Bridge right now. Hit and run between cops in riot gear and men chanting, "Shia, Shia. Beirut is now Shia."— Lara Bitar (@LaraJBitar) December 11, 2019
Tear gas being fired quite frequently.#LebanonProtests pic.twitter.com/aZMYjnOMWl
That is not the first attempt of Shia activists to attack opposition demonstrators, whose camps were set on fire and looted.
People have remained in the streets of Lebanon since 17 October, despite premier Saad Hariri and his cabinet being dismissed, to demand economic reforms, specifically in the banking sector.
Before Hariri's cabinet resigned, both of the main Shia-based groups, Hezbollah and the Amal movement, were represented in the Lebanese government.