Anti-government demonstrators are planning to gather in Beirut on Tuesday, August 18. Participants will reportedly gather at 16:00 (local time) in front of a restaurant in Furn el-Chebbak and march towards Baabda Presidential Palace.
Separately, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in Leidschendam in the Netherlands is set to deliver its verdict in the trial over the 2005 bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on August 18. The verdict was postponed last week following the huge explosion in the Port of Beirut. Associated demonstrations are possible in Lebanon.
A heightened security presence and localized disruptions are expected in the vicinity of Saturday's demonstration. Associated protests are also expected in Beirut and across Lebanon in the coming days and clashes between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out.
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. A state of emergency (SoE) is currently in place in Beirut through until Friday, August 21, whilst post-explosion recovery operations take place.
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.
Those in Beirut, and across 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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