The Lebanese army has deployed in the Lebanese city of Tripoli around the main state institutions after a night of protests and riots due to deteriorating living conditions, in which several demonstrators and 10 soldiers were injured.

Protesters attacked several state institutions in that city last night, but the state news agency said that Tripoli and other cities are peaceful today.

There were protests across Lebanon on Saturday as the economic crisis worsened. The World Bank has described the crisis as one of the worst in the world in 150 years. It is also a consequence of the political stalemate due to which Lebanon has not had a government since August last year.

The biggest protests were in the southern port city of Sidon and Tripoli, the second largest and poorest Lebanese city. Sporadic protests and roadblocks took place in the capital, Beirut.

Lebanon suffers from a severe shortage of basic products, including fuel, medicines and medical products, which has angered citizens.

The Lebanese currency reached a record low on Saturday: 18,000 pounds for one US dollar. The pound lost more than 90 percent of its value with the crisis.

In October 2019, protesters called for the removal of the political class that had held the country since the end of the 1975-90 civil war, accusing them of corruption and mismanagement, thus ruining the economy.

The army said that last night, rioters on motorcycles threw shock bombs at soldiers in Tripoli and injured nine, and one soldier was injured by a stone.

The situation in Lebanon is not expected to improve as political squabbles between President Michel Aun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri have prevented the formation of a government since Hariri was appointed in October. Negotiations with the International Monetary Fund on the economic crisis have been suspended since last year.

The World Bank announced that the gross domestic product of Lebanon will decrease by 9.5 percent this year, and in 2020 it will decrease by 20.3 percent and by 6.7 percent in 2019.

Tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs since the end of 2019 in that small country with six million inhabitants, including a million refugees who came from Syria. More than half of the population lives in poverty.

By Editor

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