The protesters threw stones at security forces and set tyres on fire near the country’s parliament in central Beirut on Thursday evening and security forces shot tear gas to disperse rioters.
Protests in Beirut as residents blame Lebanon’s leaders for the deadly explosion.
Thousands of Lebanese protesters, some of them brandishing nooses, vented their anger on Saturday at politicians they blame for a deadly explosion that made hundreds of thousands homeless and shocked the world.
Demonstrators marched through streets devastated by the blast that levelled Beirut port on Tuesday, gathering in the central Martyrs’ Square as their grief gave way to rage.
They pinned the blame on leaders they say deserve nothing less than the fate of the 158 people who died as a result.
The crowds breathed new life into a protest movement that started in October but was snuffed out a few months later by the coronavirus pandemic and a crippling economic crisis.
As scuffles broke out on the fringes, a group of protesters led by retired Lebanese army officers stormed the foreign ministry in central Beirut and declared it the “headquarters of the revolution”. Some pulled the portrait of President Michel Aoun off the wall and smashed it on the ground.
They also stormed the Lebanon banks association where they were chased out of only to descend upon the energy ministry, taking it over.
Elsewhere, police fired tear gas to disperse groups of young men hurling stones and seeking to push towards parliament.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab said he would propose early elections to break the impasse that is plunging the country deeper into political and economic crisis every day.
A policeman died in the violent clashes.
The government has ordered some port officials be put under house arrest and promised a full investigation.
Beirut blast of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate set off a massive explosion that left 300,000 people more than 12% of Beirut’s population homeless, and thousands injured and people loitered for food.
Lebanon overnment’s failure to tackle a runaway budget, mounting debt and endemic corruption has prompted Western donors to demand reform. Gulf Arab states who once helped Lebanon have baulked at bailing out a nation they say is increasingly influenced by their rival Iran and its local ally Hezbollah.
Lebanon’s customs chief said the cabinet was previously warned by a security agency that the stockpile of chemicals, confiscated from an impounded Russian cargo ship in 2013, was dangerous.
The report has compounded anger as few people can rebuild homes and businesses, with unemployment and poverty having already mounted during the financial crisis blamed on the government.