Beirut Residents Confront Police Over Power Cuts
Lebanese protesters and security forces clashed in Beirut on Tuesday following worsening power outages that have occurred at a most inopportune time – a severe heat wave that is stifling countries across the Middle East. After the government-initiated electricity cuts left parts of the country with no power for up to 20 hours a day, residents of the capital attempted to storm the Energy Ministry, only to be met with police barricades and armed guards. Violent clashes ensued, causing an unknown number of injuries. Lebanon is experiencing one of the worst financial crises in its history, and the country’s dwindling fuel reserves are the latest sector to receive a blow. Last week, similar protests in Iraq over power shortages resulted in police officers firing gas canisters and, allegedly, live rounds into the crowds, killing two demonstrators.