Lebanon's PM Saad Hariri resigning amid protests

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Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri has said he is resigning, amid protests that have gripped the country for two weeks.

Mr Hariri said Lebanon had reached a deadlock and needed a shock to break the crisis.

The protests began against now-scrapped plans to tax WhatsApp calls, but quickly widened to target political corruption and the economic crisis.

Lebanon has one of the highest debt levels in the world.

In a televised address, Mr Hariri said he would tender his resignation and that of the government to President Michel Aoun.

Camps destroyed

The demonstrations have reflected the schisms within Lebanese society and have led to a 10-day closure of banks, with many other offices, schools and universities also shut.

The militant Shia group, Hezbollah, which has dominated Mr Hariri’s coalition government, has recently hardened its stance against the protests.

On Tuesday, black-clad men loyal to Hezbollah and another Shia group, Amal, destroyed a protest camp in central Beirut, chanting slogans, setting tents on fire and beating anti-government demonstrators. A roadblock set up by protesters was also attacked.

Riot police and troops have tried to separate the rival groups, firing tear gas.

source: bbc.com