Thousands of Lebanese protesters march to Beirut’s Martyrs Square

Beirut, Aug 30 (IANS) Thousands of Lebanese on Saturday marched to downtown Beirut’s Martyrs Square in an anti-government protest and gave the government 72 hours to meet its demands.

“You Stink,” the main activist group behind the protest, launched demonstrations for the government’s failure in solving the waste crisis that erupted following the closure of the Naameh landfill in July, and piles of trash filled the streets of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, Xinhua reported.

A “You Stink” member said in a speech at the protest that its battle will continue until the resignation of Environment Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq and the election of a president.

Protesters see the political class as corrupt and incapable of providing basic services to citizens.

The protests came amid calls on Lebanese authorities to investigate allegations that security forces have used excessive force to disperse two rallies held last weekend and led to the injury of 160 people, as Interior Minister Nouhad Mashnouq revealed.

The minister acknowledged that there were “mistakes” in excessive using of force and an investigation, of which results will be released next week, is under way.

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