Egyptians in Lebanon advised to avoid protest areas

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A bystander makes her way through burning tires blocking off a main road leading from southern Lebanon to Beirut, during a protest targeting the government over an economic crisis, at Barja area, Lebanon, October 18, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

Egypt called on its nationals in Beirut to avoid protest areas whenever possible.

Lebanon’s decision to tax WhatsApp calls sparked unrest. Lebanese citizens are also upset over the government’s handling of the current economic crisis in the country

“The embassy calls on all Egyptian citizens in Lebanon to avoid the areas of gatherings and protests, to be careful in their movements and to abide by the instructions of the Lebanese authorities in this regard,” MENA said.

Demonstrators take a selfie in front of burning tires during a protest targeting the government over an economic crisis, at Barja area blocking off a main road leading from southern Lebanon to Beirut, October 18, 2019. REUTERS

The Lebanese government announced a new $0.20 (£0.16) daily charge on voice calls made through Facebook-owned WhatsApp and other similar apps.

But it scrapped the plans hours later amid clashes between security forces and protesters.The demonstrations are some of the biggest Lebanon has faced in years.Dozens were reported injured as protesters burned tires and security forces fired tear gas.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri may cancel Friday’s cabinet meeting, a website linked to his party said, as protesters gathered around the government’s headquarters.

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