A policeman died today in a downtown hotel in a clash with protesters and at least 172 people have been injured in various ways in a violent day of protest in Beirut.
The security forces said on Twitter that "a member of the Ministry of Interior died in the process of maintaining security while assisting detainees inside the Le Gray hotel, after being attacked by several murderous rioters, which led to his fall and death". The Le Gray Hotel was left in the middle of the protests and a group of protesters set fire to its doors leading to moments of anguish inside.
This was one of the points of conflict in a day of fighting in various parts of central Beirut which, according to the Lebanese Red Cross, led to 55 people being taken to hospitals and 117 being treated on the ground for injuries of various kinds. During the protests, several dozen people marching through the capital broke into the ministries of foreign affairs, economy and environment.
At the Foreign Ministry headquarters, which had been damaged by Tuesday's explosion and was only guarded by two members of the security forces, the protesters read a manifesto against the country's political class and unfurled a banner with the slogan "Capital of the Revolution".
In the building that houses the Economy and Environment portfolios, there was a raid and a fire, reported The Daily Star newspaper. Outrage has increased in recent days in Lebanon following the explosion last Tuesday in the port of Beirut of a shipment of nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate that has caused at least 158 deaths and 6,000 injuries, according to the latest official count.