Security forces go easy on masked partisans but attack protesters
- After a campaign to boycott a solidarity sit-in with the Hub, masked partisan supporters launched an unprovoked attack on the Internal Security Forces (ISF) near the Ring bridge in Beirut, prompting them to deploy riot police. While partisans were throwing fireworks and rocks, riot police showed measured restraint. It wasn't until burning tires were thrown, wounding one, that tear gas was used.
- In contrast, protesters attempting to enter Nejmeh Square were immediately met with a violent crackdown by the Lebanese Army and the ISF. Protesters were viciously beaten and tear gas was deployed. As protesters retreated toward the highway, the army continued to indiscriminately fire tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowds.
- According to the Lebanese Red Cross, 54 protesters were injured while 36 needed hospital care.
Solidarity with Beirut protesters
- As protesters in Beirut were met with excessive force, protesters in Saida blocked Riad al-Solh road and gathered at the Elia roundabout.
- Roads were also blocked in the Bekaa in Qab Elias, Taalbaya, Jdeita, and Kamed el-Loz. In the North, Tripoli's Nour Square, Halba's Square, and Mohamara were blocked. A road was also briefly blocked in Aley.
- In Beirut, hundreds have joined the protesters in Road al-Solh and the Beirut Souks area after the violent crackdown.
Hezbollah slapped with new U.S. sanctions
- The United States Treasury Department announced new sanctions targeting three businessmen, accusing them of reportedly financing and assisting Hezbollah.
- Nazem Ahmad, Saleh Assi, and Tony Saab were added to the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions list.
- Separately, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. had released $115 mln in economic aid to Lebanon. According to a notification submitted to Congress Thursday, this aid will support "good governance, civil society, water supply and sanitation, basic education, higher education, and private sector productivity programming."
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