Lebanese anti-government demonstrators gear up for fresh rallies

Beirut (dpa) - Lebanese anti-government protesters were set to stage rallies in Beirut and other parts of the country on Saturday, defying a coronavirus lockdown to vent their anger at worsening economic and social conditions.

 Army troops have been seen deployed since the early hours of the day in central Beirut, where protesters plan to begin gathering at 3 pm (1200 GMT).
In mid-October mass anti-government street protests began nationwide. They continued for more than two months before abating.
Organizers of Saturday's protests said their action is aimed at fighting rampant corruption in the country and to prod the new government, installed earlier this year, to tackle the ailing economy.
In the run-up to the rallies, some protesters have demanded on social media for the disarming of the Iran-allied Shiite Hezbollah movement, which exerts a powerful influence over Lebanon's politics.
However, some Lebanese have opposed raising the issue at the protests. 
"Today our calls should focus on the economy only. This is where people are hard hit," said Hassan, one of the rally organizers who only wants to be identified by one name out of safety concerns.
Lebanon is experiencing its worst economic crisis since the 1975-90 civil war.
In March, Lebanon announced that it would suspend payments of maturing Eurobonds in order to safeguard the foreign currency reserves needed to meet basic im

Saturday, June 6th 2020

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