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15 Photos Of The Massive Protests In Lebanon That Were Sparked By A WhatsApp Tax

Protesters from various religious backgrounds are angry over the crumbling state of the country and what they say is cronyism at the highest levels of government.

Posted on October 19, 2019, at 4:49 p.m. ET

Patrick Baz / Getty Images

Lebanese demonstrators wave national flags as they take part in a protest in the capital, Beirut, outside the Mohammad Al-Amin mosque in the downtown district’s Martyr’s Square on Oct. 19.

Massive protests raged in Lebanon on Saturday for a third straight day, as demonstrators took to the streets and demanded the resignation of the government over corruption and the state of the country’s economy.

The demonstrations were triggered late Thursday when Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s government unveiled austerity measures that included a plan to place a $0.20 tax on calls made via WhatsApp.

That proposal was soon scrapped, but protesters from various religious backgrounds remained on the streets waving flags and chanting in Beirut, Tripoli, and elsewhere, angry over the crumbling state of the country and what they say is cronyism at the highest levels of government.

In some instances, clashes have broken out with security personnel and demonstrators, who have lit fires, damaged buildings, and caused street blockades.

“This country is moving towards total collapse,” protester Mohammad Awada told Reuters. “This regime has failed to lead Lebanon and it must be toppled and replaced.”

These photos show some of the demonstrations sweeping Lebanon.

Patrick Baz / Getty Images

A Lebanese demonstrator with her face painted as the Joker takes part in a protest in the capital, Beirut, outside the Mohammad Al-Amin mosque in the downtown district’s Martyr’s Square on Oct. 19.

Mahmoud Zayyat / Getty Images

Lebanese protesters gather in the southern city of Sidon on Oct. 19 for a third day of protests against tax increases and corruption after security forces made dozens of arrests.

Marwan Tahtah / Getty Images

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri gives an address at the government headquarters in the center of the capital on Oct. 18.

- / Getty Images

A Lebanese demonstrator walks by a fire at a makeshift barricade amid clashes with security forces during a mass protest at Riad Al-Solh Square in the center of Beirut on Oct. 18.

Getty Images

Lebanese security forces fire water cannons amid clashes during a mass protest at Riad Al-Solh Square, Oct. 18.

Anwar Amro / Getty Images

A motorist drives past debris at Riad Al-Solh Square in the center of the capital on Oct. 19 after violent confrontations between demonstrators and security forces.

Patrick Baz / Getty Images

Lebanese youth ride their motorcycle past shops damaged during protests in Beirut’s downtown district on Oct. 19.

Ibrahim Chalhoub / Getty Images

Lebanese protesters ride past burning tires in front of the house of former sports minister Faisal Karami during a protest in the coastal city of Tripoli on Oct. 18.

Ibrahim Amro / Getty Images

A Lebanese demonstrator poses for a picture during a protest against dire economic conditions on Oct. 18 in Beirut.

Getty Images

A Lebanese protester throws a tire into a fire blocking a road near Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport, amid ongoing protests, on Oct. 18.

Joseph Eid / Getty Images

A Lebanese demonstrator poses for pictures in front of a tire fire during a protest on Oct. 18 in Nahr Ibrahim, north of Beirut.

Mohamed Azakir / Reuters

Demonstrators gesture during an anti-government protest in Beirut, Lebanon, on Oct. 19.

Mohamed Azakir / Reuters

A demonstrator holds his dog as smoke rises during a protest over the deteriorating economic situation in Jdeideh, Lebanon, Oct. 18.

Joseph Eid / Getty Images

Lebanese demonstrators burn tires and wave their national flag during a protest against the country’s economic crisis on Oct. 18 on a highway between Beirut and the northern city of Tripoli.


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