Voice of America
Voice of America 12 Sep 2020

Security Tight at Anti-Government Rally in Lebanon


Lebanese anti-government protesters marched along the road leading to the presidential palace in Beirut, Saturday.

Security forces were out in large numbers to monitor the rally and detained some of the demonstrators.

Tension is high in Lebanon following last month's devastating explosion at Beirut's port, which killed nearly 200 people, and after another mysterious and huge blaze at the same site Thursday.

The August 4 explosion was caused by the detonation of nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrates that had been improperly stored at the port for years.

More than five weeks later, it is still not clear what started the fire that ignited the chemicals, and no one has been held accountable so far.


Eighteen people have been arrested and three police officers injured after anti-lockdown protests in central London.

Demonstrators made their way through the city with banners and placards, calling for 'freedom' and an end to COVID-19 restrictions.

At least two people were led away in handcuffs from Trafalgar Square, while there was also some disruption on Westminster Bridge as officers tried to disperse crowds.
Pro-democracy activists in Thailand staged a fourth straight day of high-profile protests in the capital on Saturday, thwarting efforts by the authorities to stop them, including a shutdown of the city's mass transit systems.

Unlike protests a day earlier, which saw police using water cannons to keep the protesters at bay, Saturday's demonstrations were peaceful, with no reports of any clashes by the time participants started heading home in the evening.

The protesters are calling for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to leave office, the constitution to be amended to make it more democratic and the nation's monarchy to undergo reform.

All stations of Bangkok's elevated Skytrain transit system were closed Saturday afternoon to try to keep protesters from gathering. The underground MRT system was also shut, and police blocked off several roads.

Protesters began dispersing at 8 p.m., the time organizers had said the protests would end.

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