Overland disruptions have been reported in both Beirut and Tripoli on Tuesday, July 7, as anti-government demonstrations continue over the country's worsening economic situation, high unemployment rates, power cuts, and plummeting exchange rates. In the capital Beirut employees of concrete companies reportedly gathered near Charles Helou bus station blocking traffic towards Jounie in Kesrouane district, via the motorway in Daoura. Several gatherings have been reported in Tripoli on Tuesday; a sit-in demonstration was reported outside of an electrical company in the Mina district of Tripoli. Activists also reportedly blocked the highway at the Bab el-Tebanne district and the road to Abdeh was also closed. Similar demonstrations and subsequent disruptions have been reported in Beddaoui.
Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out. A heightened security presence is to be anticipated in all major cities of Lebanon in the near and medium term and transportation disruptions should be expected near protest sites.
Recent protests have been denouncing ongoing economic hardship in Lebanon, the fall in the value of the Lebanese pound, and the rise in the cost of goods. The value of the Lebanese pound hit a record low on the black market on June 30, as the government raised the price of bread and announced that soldiers would stop receiving meat in their meals. Supermarkets have been pictured with empty shelves and retailers have closed stores following a rush to purchase goods, such as candles, flour, and yeast, amid rising prices.
Individuals in Lebanon are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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