7 Lebanese soldiers injured in clashes with demonstrators

7 Lebanese soldiers injured in clashes with demonstrators
# 10 July 2015 00:19 (UTC +04:00)

"Seven soldiers were injured when they were trying to prevent demonstrators from crossing the barbed wire placed in the perimeter of the Grand serial where the council of ministers was holding a regular session," the army said in a communique by the Guidance Directorate.

It added "the demonstrators attacked the soldiers with stones and sticks they were carrying."

On Thursday, the supporters of the Free Patriotic Movement led by MP Michel Aoun gathered near the Grand Serail in Beirut and scuffled with the army as they attempted to head to the government building.

The army and security forces had bolstered their presence in the area in anticipation of any security development, blocking all roads leading to the Grand Serail.

The supporters earlier vowed to stage "peaceful and civilized protests," pledging that they will not block any roads.

One person was wounded in the scuffles, accusing the army of beating him.

The army statement stressed that "it will not be lured into any confrontation," stressing that it is "tasked with protecting state institutions and the people."

Lebanon has been without a president since the end of former President Michel Suleiman's six-year term in May 2014.

Aoun is running for the presidency backed by the Hezbollah Shiite militant party. But the party lacks the majority in the parliament to elect him, which resorts to boycotting the parliament sessions for this purpose.

The parliament has failed in 25 consecutive times to convene because of lack of the constitutionally required quorum of two thirds of the 128-seat parliament.