BEIRUT (AP) — Angry residents attacked the municipality headquarters in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Tuesday, smashing windows and setting a room on fire, an outburst of violence that came after a house collapsed overnight in the area, killing two siblings.
A large military force was sent to the site to deal with the violence. It was not immediately clear what had caused the house to collapse. The two killed were a 19-year-old woman and her older brother, according to local media.
Tripoli has witnessed some of the largest protests since nationwide demonstrations broke out on Oct. 17 against widespread corruption and mismanagement. The protesters have since transitioned to demand an end to the rule of the political elite that has run the country following the 1975-90 civil war.
Residents told the local LBC TV station that the collapse was the result of negligence, saying that the municipality has repeatedly ignored calls by the owners to renovate the old house. Their claims could not be immediately confirmed.
Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said that the angry residents damaged the office of the mayor as well as a municipality car that was parked outside the building. It added that the army later intervened and prevented further violence.
The violence came a day after Lebanese soldiers had to separate protesters and the bodyguards of a Lebanese lawmaker after scuffles broke near his house in Tripoli.
Reporting by AP
Image: Protesters chant slogans during ongoing protests against the Lebanese political class, as riot police block a road leading to the parliament building in Beirut, Lebanon, on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. A possible candidate for prime minister of Lebanon said on Sunday he is withdrawing from consideration for the post, prolonging the country’s political crisis. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)