October 26, 2019 / 2:51 PM / 24 days ago

UPDATE 2-Lebanese army says it fired into the air near Tripoli after clash

(Adds army, prime minister statements)

BEIRUT, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The Lebanese army said it fired gunshots into the air after a clash at a protest road-block near the northern city of Tripoli on Saturday, injuring several people.

The army said it had intervened to break up a skirmish between protesters and people trying to drive their cars on the road. Stones and fireworks were thrown at soldiers, injuring five of them, it said in a statement.

After using tear gas, the army said it then fired into the air and also used rubber bullets, injuring several people.

A witness said soldiers shot into the air after trying to re-open a road out of Tripoli that some protesters had been blocking, near the Beddawi Palestinian refugee camp.

As part of a wave of unprecedented protests demanding the government resign, people have closed routes across Lebanon with makeshift barriers and sit-ins for days.

Protesters poured on to the streets on Saturday despite army efforts to unblock roads, with no solution in sight to the crisis that has gripped the country for 10 days.

Reuters TV footage showed soldiers and young men throwing stones at each other on the road near Tripoli.

The Lebanese Red Cross said seven people were transported from the scene for treatment. State news agency NNA said several people were injured, some seriously.

The army said it brought reinforcements and the situation had quieted down.

Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s office said he has asked the army’s commander to investigate the incident. (Reporting by Lisa Barrington, Ellen Francis and Reuters TV; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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