LEBANESE COP KILLED, 238 HURT IN BEIRUT BLAST PROTESTS
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Saturday proposed holding early elections as protesters angry over the Beirut port blast stormed ministries, shots were heard and a police officer was killed during clashes that left at least 238 injured.
"I will put forward a bill to hold early parliamentary elections on Monday," Diab said in a televised address. "I call on all political parties to agree on the next stage ... I am with the Lebanese aspiring for change," Weedah Hamzah wrote for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) on Sunday, August 9, 2020.
Diab floated the proposal as thousands of protesters, furious with their leaders after Tuesday's monumental blast at the Beirut port, took to the city streets to demand drastic reforms. "The scale of the catastrophe is bigger than anyone can imagine," Diab said, referring to the blast. "We are in a state of emergency."
Protests escalated into clashes between protesters and police as furious residents mourned the victims and called for the removal of what they described as "corrupt politicians." Police used tear gas to disperse the protesters, a number of whom stormed several government buildings, including the ministries of foreign affairs, economy and energy, witnesses said.