Anti-government protesters are scheduled to hold a vigil in Beirut on Friday, September 4, to commemorate the victims of the August 4 explosions which occurred in Beirut Port. The vigil, which will begin one hour after an ongoing nighttime curfew, will take place at 19:00 (local time) at Martyrs' Square. Clashes between participants and local security forces who are trying to impose the curfew can not be ruled out.
A heightened police force presence and localized travel disruptions should be anticipated in the vicinity of the incident.
An explosion that occurred in the Port of Beirut on August 4 killed at least 157 people, injured 5000 others, and caused billions of Lebanese Pounds in damages. The blast is believed to have been caused by 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which had been unsafely stored in the area. A state of emergency was initially declared on August 5, and 20 officials responsible for the operation of the port have so far been placed under arrest.
Allegations of mismanagement regarding the substance's storage come during sustained unrest since October 2019 over corruption and economic hardship within the country whereby protesters have called for reforms to the governance of Lebanon. Mustapha Adib was named as the new prime minister on August 31 with a view to forming a new government.
Those in Lebanon are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid all protests or demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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