Protests against growing economic hardship erupted again in Tripoli and spread to other Lebanese cities early on Wednesday with banks set ablaze and violence boiling over into a second night.
Protesters in the northern city of Tripoli set banks on fire and smashed their facades, prompting the army to fire rubber-coated bullets and tear gas. Demonstrators on Tuesday night piled into the main square while on side streets some threw stones at security forces.
At least one person died in the violence on Tuesday night.
Banks have been a target of people angered by being frozen out of their deposits.
Protesters in the southern city of Sidon chanting “revolution” hurled petrol bombs at a central bank building and set its exterior on fire before smashing the fronts of banks.
In Beirut, dozens marched across the city, some wearing medical masks while chanting against the financial system and shouting for more Lebanese to join. Later, crowds hurled stones towards security forces positioned in front of the central bank.
The growing unrest threatens to tip Lebanon into a more serious conflict even as Beirut looks to pass an economic rescue plan and enter into negotiations with foreign creditors after defaulting on its hefty debt obligations last month.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab urged Lebanese to refrain from violence and said “malicious intentions behind the scenes” were “shaking stability”.