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Hundreds in Lebanon Protest Politics, Economy


Anti-government protesters hold Lebanese flags and chant slogans as riot police stand guard in front of the government building, in central Beirut, Lebanon, Dec. 23, 2018.

Hundreds of Lebanese took to the streets of Beirut Sunday to protest a deteriorating economy and a political stalemate that has their country’s lawmakers struggling to form a government.

The protesters marched to the government building in central Beirut, some wearing yellow vests, akin to those worn by protesters in France and other countries in recent weeks.

The crowds grew rowdy and protesters pelted security forces with water bottles and scuffled with soldiers.

The army appealed for calm in a statement, urging protesters to remain peaceful.

Lebanese lawmakers have failed to agree to a national unity government some seven months after general elections failed to elect an absolute majority.

Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri said on Friday that he hoped to finalize an agreement this weekend but senior politicians derailed any hopes Saturday saying new snags had developed in the talks.

Lebanon's economy is on the brink of collapse and France has warned that the country could soon miss out on much-needed aid, agreed to in Paris earlier this year, if the political deadlock continues.