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Country profile for Lebanon

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

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General Information

  • Capital: Beirut
  • Major Languages: Arabic, French
  • Currency: Lebanese Pound
  • Timezone: GMT +2:00

Country Map

Map of Lebanon

On Tuesday 5 August 2020 a massive explosion devastated the port area of Lebanon's capital, Beirut. At least 190 people were killed and thousands more injured in the blast, which was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at a warehouse in the port. The port itself has been completely decimated, while buildings and vehicles were badly damaged throughout the city. Two hospitals were destroyed and three others were severely damaged. President Michel Aoun declared a two-week state of emergency in response to the blast.

Lebanon has been engulfed in a sustained period of political and economic turmoil, which led to an outbreak of anti-government protests in October 2019. Thousands of people took to the streets of Beirut and other major cities to call for a complete overhaul of the political system. Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced the resignation of his government at the end of the month; however, protesters remained on the streets, calling for more substantial changes, and for the departure of the entire political class, including Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri and President Michel Aoun. Supporters of the main Islamist parties, Amal and Hezbollah, were opposed to Hariri's resignation and there have been several violent attacks against protest groups. Several subsequent governments have also collapsed. Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned in August 2020 in the aftermath of the port explosion, while Prime minister-designate Mustapha Adib quit the following month after failing to form a government.

The unrest in Lebanon stems from years of corruption and economic mismanagement, alongside issues with the sectarian political system that has been in place since 1989. The Taif Agreement was implemented to end the civil war which raged throughout the 1970s and 1980s and was designed to provide political representation for all Lebanese religious groups, the three largest being Christian Maronites, Sunni Muslims, and Shia Muslims. Since gaining independence from France in 1943, a structure has also been in place that rules that the president is a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni and the speaker of parliament a Shia. Over the last decade, sectarian tensions have resulted in a prolonged period of deadlock; in May 2018 the country held its first elections in nine years. The political chaos has coincided with a struggling economy, with Lebanon currently holding one of the highest levels of government debt in the world. Unemployment rates are high and the state has failed to deliver essential services; since the Naameh landfill site closed in 2015, the government has repeatedly failed to collect waste, leaving rubbish piled up on the streets of Beirut. Fuel shortages have been reported across the country and power outages are common. In 2020 Lebanon was also hit by the global outbreak of coronavirus. In mid-March, the authorities imposed a lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. The lockdown was reimposed in May following a spike in cases. The latest case figures can be viewed here.

The conflict in neighbouring Syria has had a significant impact on the stability and security of Lebanon. The Shia Islamist militant group and political party Hezbollah is a long-standing ally of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, with both groups comprising the strategic alliance with Iran known as the Axis of Resistance. Hezbollah, which has supported Assad since the first outbreaks of anti-regime protests in 2011, assumed a direct combat role in Syria in 2013 with an assault on al-Qusayr in Homs province. Since then, the group has maintained a significant role in the Syrian conflict to keep Assad in power. Syria is of critical strategic importance to Hezbollah, acting as both a safe haven for its fighters and a conduit for military supplies from its key supporter, Iran.

The impact inside Lebanon has been significant. The northern city of Tripoli, a place with long-standing sectarian tensions, has experienced a sharp increase in violence. The Sunni jihadist group Nusra Front (now part of Tahrir al-Sham) carried out a suicide bomb attack in a mostly Alawite area of the city in January 2015 killing seven people. Three months earlier 11 soldiers and dozens of militants were killed in clashes in the city. In June 2019 a suspected militant killed two Lebanese army soldiers and one Lebanese policeman in Tripoli. The capital, Beirut, also experienced a rise in attacks linked to the Syrian conflict. A car bomb killed seven people (including a former government minister) in December 2013, while six people died when a suicide car bomb targeted the Iranian cultural centre in southern Beirut in February 2014. In November 2015 a twin suicide bomb attack killed 43 people and wounded more than 100 others in the southern Borj Al Brajne suburb. All areas close to the Syrian border are regarded as extremely high-risk and cross-border attacks are common, particularly in the Bekaa Valley. In August 2014 Sunni militants from Syria attacked the town of Arsal, leading to several days of fighting with the Lebanese army which left more than 100 people dead and 400 civilians wounded.

Levels of violent crimes – including armed robberies and physical assaults - have been on the increase due to the deteriorating economic situation. Visitors to Lebanon are more likely to experience petty street crimes, particularly in areas popular with tourists and around public transport hubs. The threat of kidnapping for foreign nationals is a concern. Five Czech nationals were kidnapped along with their Lebanese driver near Kefraya in the east of the country in July 2015, close to where seven Estonian cyclists were abducted in 2011.

News articles

By CPJ

Lebanese journalist Lokman Slim murdered

On February 3, 2021, at about 8:30 p.m., Lebanese political commentator, columnist, and activist Lokman Slim went missing after leaving the home of a friend near the town of Niha, south of Beirut, according to his wife, Monika Borgman, who spoke to the regional news website The National.

View all articles for Lebanon

Alerts for Lebanon

Inquiry into Beirut port blast suspended

The inquiry into the Beirut port explosion has been suspended after Judge Tarek Bitar was accused of bias. Last week former Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk and ex-Public Works Minister Youssef Finianos called for Bitar to be removed from his post as head of the inquiry. More than 200 people were killed when tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded at the port in August 2020.

Second ship carrying Iranian oil arrives in Syria, set for Lebanon

Lebanon’s Hezbollah group have announced that a second oil tanker carrying Iranian fuel has arrived in the Syrian port of Baniyas. The oil is set to make its way to Lebanon with the Iran-backed Hezbollah hoping it will help the country escape a crippling energy shortage. The Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said that these Iranian shipments are a breach of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

WHO says Lebanon health system on brink of collapse

The head of the UN World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that “a deadly combination of the political and financial crisis are having devastating consequences for the health of Lebanese people” adding that “two thousand medical doctors and 1,500 registered nurses have left the country.” These circumstances have led to Tedros warning that the health system in Lebanon is on the brink of collapse.

Parliament approves new government

Lebanon’s parliament has endorsed Prime Minister Najib Mikati's new government. Following a marathon session on Monday, 85 lawmakers voted to support the government while 15 voted against it. The session was delayed due to ongoing power cuts in the country; one of the new government's priorities will be dealing with the economic crisis in the country, including starting talks with the IMF to agree on a package of aid.

More Iranian fuel delivered to Lebanon

Four convoys of Iranian fuel have been delivered to Lebanon as part of a deal negotiated by Hezbollah. The fuel was transported from a tanker in Syria and driven into Lebanon in a convoy of trucks. Hezbollah  Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said priority will be given to hospitals and other key services, including the Lebanese Red Cross. Lebanon has been facing a major fuel shortage due to its deteriorating economy and political crisis.

Explosion at dental clinic injures seven

At least seven people have sustained injuries in southern Lebanon as a power generator exploded in a dental clinic. Firefighters managed to contain the scene in Tyre city, while police have opened an investigation into the causes of the blast. Lebanon has seen long power cuts for months emanating from a lack of fuel, as well as an increase in explosions in recent months, like the deadly Beirut Port explosion.  

Presidency announces new government

The Lebanese presidency has announced that Prime Minister Najib Mikati and President Michel Aoun have signed a decree forming a new government. “The situation is very difficult. But it’s not impossible if we united as Lebanese. We have to put our hands together,” Mikati said during a press conference on Friday. “We are all going to work together, united with hope and determination.” The first priority of the government will be dealing with the major economic crisis in the country, which is likely to include negotiations with the IMF.

US approves $47 million aid package to Lebanon

In order to provide aid to the struggling Lebanese army, US President Joe Biden issued a memorandum authorising $25 million in commodities and services, as well as $22 million in “defence articles and services from the Ministry of Defense” to be provided as immediate assistance to Lebanon’s armed forces. Lebanon has been suffering from what the World Bank has called one of the deepest depressions of modern history and its currency continues to fall against the US dollar. In July, Lebanese Forces Commander Joseph Aoun warned that the military was facing “a great crisis which is set to get worse.”

Hezbollah approves third shipment of fuel from Iran

Hezbollah has approved a third shipment of fuel from Iran. “We have agreed to start loading a third vessel,” Hezbollah leader Sayyed Nasrallah said in a statement. Opponents of the group have warned that the arrangement with Iran could result in sanctions being imposed on Lebanon. The country has been facing widespread fuel shortages, which have been impacting all aspects of daily life.

Troops deployed after rival clans clash in north

The Lebanese army deployed troops following clashes between rival clans in the north of the country. At least two people were killed in the fighting, which erupted following a dispute over logging near the villages of Akkar al-Atiqa and Fnaidek on Wednesday. Officials said calm had been restored to the area earlier today.

Fuel crisis endangers lives of patients in Lebanon

The Syndicate of Hospitals in Lebanon warned Wednesday (25 August) that the lives of many patients are in danger due to a shortage of fuel affecting the country. It also warned that the majority of hospitals have enough fuel for only two days at most. For the past few months, Lebanon has been suffering from an acute shortage of fuel due to the lack of sufficient foreign exchange which have affected imports, causing frequent power cuts.

Drivers block Tripoli-Beirut highway in fuel protest

A group of protesters used their cars to block the Tripoli-Beirut highway on Thursday. The demonstrators were voicing their anger at the lack of fuel and difficult living conditions in the country.

Hezbollah organises fuel for Lebanon amid crisis

A shipment of Iranian fuel organised by Hezbollah will set sail on Thursday, the Shia group said. Hezbollah’s opponents in Lebanon warned of dire consequences from the move, with a former Prime Minister saying it risked sanctions being imposed on a country whose economy has been in meltdown for nearly two years. Hezbollah did not say how the shipment would be financed; however, the move should help ease the immediate fuel shortages across the country.

Protesters attack home of PM-designate

Protesters have attacked the home of Najib Mikati, Lebanon's prime minister-designate, in Beirut and demanded his resignation. The violence erupted after 27 people were killed and 79 others wounded in a petrol tank explosion in the northern Akkar region. The security forces were distributing fuel that was confiscated from black marketeers when the explosion happened. Mikati said he understood the public's frustration but condemned acts of vandalism.

Fuel tanker explosion kills 28

At least 28 people have been killed and nearly 80 others injured after a fuel tanker exploded in northern Lebanon. The explosion, which took place in al-Talil in the northern region of Akkar, overwhelmed hospitals in the area. A statement from the national news agency said the blast occured while “residents gathered around the container to fill up gasoline” overnight. One witness said that Akkar hospital had to turn away most of the wounded because it is not equipped to treat severe burns, directing them instead to Geitawi hospital in Beirut and the other serious burns specialist facility at Al-Salam hospital in Tripoli. 

Lebanese authorities clash over fuel subsidies

The Lebanese government is urging the country’s central bank to maintain subsidies on fuel. Drivers in the country have been rushing to the petrol pumps after central banks said the financial help would be pulled. The decision sparked protests which blocked roads all over the country.

Roads cut off by protestors

Protestors denouncing the dreadful living conditions and the recent Central Bank decision to lift fuel subsidies have blocked roads across Lebanon. Some general disruption in affected areas may be expected.

Israel conducts airstrikes in Lebanon

Israeli jets have launched airstrikes on positions in neighbouring Lebanon in response to the second day of cross-border rocket fire. Earlier today, rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israeli territory,” the Israeli air force tweeted. “In response … fighter jets struck the launch sites and infrastructure used for terror in Lebanon from which the rockets were launched." Israel's Defence Minister Benny Gantz claimed that a Palestinian faction carried out the rocket attacks.

Tear gas and water cannons deployed by security forces on protesters near parliament

Security forces fired water cannons and tear gas at protesters near Lebanon's parliament building as the country marked the first anniversary of the Beirut port blast. The demonstrators, who were lamenting a lack of justice for the blast's victims and a severe deterioration in living conditions, had been throwing stones at the building, with some trying to climb its gate. At least six people were injured in the proximity of the parliament.

Israel launches artillery strikes in southern Lebanon

The Israeli army fired several artillery rounds into southern Lebanon early Tuesday in response to rockets fired into Palestine’s northern borders hours earlier. No injuries were reported on either side of the skirmish since the projectiles reportedly fell in open areas. No Lebanese faction has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Israeli media has reported that they were fired by Palestinian militants based in Lebanon. 

Gunmen attack funeral of Hezbollah commander

Gunmen have attacked the funeral of a Hezbollah commander in the town of Khalde. Two people were killed in the coastal town, south of Beirut, on Sunday. Local media reported that Ali Chebli was shot dead by members of a local Sunni Arab tribe at a wedding party on Saturday night. Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati called on the head of the army to increase its security presence in the town.

Wildfires continue for second day

Lebanese firefighters are struggling for the second day to contain wildfires in the country’s north that have spread across the border into Syria. The fires killed at least one person, a 15-year-old boy, who was helping to tackle the blaze. A total of 25 fire trucks, supported by four Air Force helicopters and military units have been dispatched to the area.

Two killed in Tripoli shooting

Two people have been killed in a shooting in the northern city of Tripoli. Gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on the victims outside the Al-Bashir Mosque in the al-Qubba area. No arrests have been made so far.

President Aoun set to name new PM-designate

President Michel Aoun has been holding consultations with parliament aimed at appointing a new prime minister-designate. Talks are underway at the Baabda Palace, with billionaire businessman Najib Mikati expected to win the majority of votes. Last week former prime minister Saad Hariri stepped down after failing to form a government. Lebanon is currently experiencing a major economic crisis, which has been compounded by the failure to form a working government.

Water supply systems on verge of collapse in Lebanon

Unicef predicts that most water pumping will gradually cease across the country in the next four to six weeks due to the rapidly escalating economic crisis, shortages of funding and fuel supplies. If the public water system collapses, Unicef estimates that more than four million people, including one million refugees, are at immediate risk of losing access to safe water in Lebanon.

Hospitals warn of a looming catastrophe

Hospitals in crisis-hit Lebanon warned of a looming "catastrophe" as some were only hours away from running out of fuel to keep life-saving equipment on during endless state power cuts. The state electricity supplier has all but stopped supplying power in recent weeks, forcing homes, businesses, and hospitals to rely on backup generators almost all day. The syndicate of private hospitals warned, "hospitals are unable to find fuel oil to power generators during power outages of at least 20 hours a day." It then added, "a number of hospitals risk running out in coming hours, which will put the lives of patients in danger."

Two rockets launched from Lebanon land in northern Israel

Two rockets were launched at Israel from Lebanon in the early hours of Tuesday morning. No damage or injuries were reported, while the Israeli military said it had responded with artillery fire. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said it was in direct contact with the Lebanese army and Israel to "urge maximum restraint and avoid further escalation."

Protestors cut off road and scuffle with armed forces

A number of protestors have gathered in the Jabal Mohsen neighbourhood of Tripoli to protest against the high cost of living due to the increase in the US dollar exchange rate and the deteriorating economic situation. Demonstrators cut off a road in the neighbourhood causing a Lebanese army patrol to clash with civilians and then firing shots into the air to disperse the crowd

PM-designate resigns after failing to form government

Lebanon's political crisis has taken another turn with the resignation of Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri. He stepped down following a meeting with President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace in Beirut earlier on Thursday. “Aoun demanded some amendments, which he considered essential, and said we will not be able to reach an understanding with each other… And may god save this country,” said Hariri without elaborating. On Wednesday Hariri proposed a 24-minister government after eight months of talks.

Riot police clash with families of port blast victims

Lebanese riot police have clashed with the families of the port blast victims in Beirut. The demonstrators gathered outside the interior minister's residence in the capital to demand justice and to voice their anger at his decision to reject a legal request to interrogate General Security Chief Major-General Abbas Ibrahim. Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd, who threw rocks and bottles. A rally was also held near parliament to demand that immunity be stripped from three legislators and former ministers so they can be prosecuted over the explosion, which killed 211 people.

Main power plants run out of fuel

Two of Lebanon's main power plants have gone offline after they ran out of fuel, plunging much of the country into darkness. The Deir Ammar and Zahrani plants went offline on Friday, according to Electricite Du Liban (EDL). Ships loaded with gas oil has refused to offload their cargo until they were paid. Even before the plants were shut down, people had been receiving just two hours of electricity a day. Meanwhile, pharmacies have gone on strike over medicine shortages. The association of pharmacy owners announced a "general open-ended strike across Lebanon."

Lebanon on verge of collapse, warns PM Diab

Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab has warned that the country is on the verge of collapse. “Lebanon is a few days away from the social explosion. The Lebanese are facing this dark fate alone,” Diab told foreign ambassadors in Beirut on Monday. He has remained in office since resigning after the Beirut port explosion last August, but politicians have failed to form a new government to replace him. Diab said that he is unable to resume negotiations with the IMF to agree on new loans which might help to deal with the economic crisis, which the World Bank has described as the worst in modern history.

Hamas and Hezbollah leaders hold talks in Beirut over Gaza conflict

Leaders of Hezbollah and Hamas held talks in Beirut about the 11-day conflict that took place in Gaza in May. Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, arrived in Lebanon on Sunday and met several top officials, including President Michel Aoun and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. On Tuesday, Haniyeh and the leader of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Narallah met and discussed the recent conflict with Israel that caused the death of approximately 254 people. During the war, Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups fired over 4.000 rockets into Israel.

Lebanon's government raises fuel prices amid violence

Following the recent protests Lebanon’s government has raised fuel prices and cut fuel subsidies. The strategy aims to ease the fuel shortages but will increase the financial pressure on the citizens already lamenting difficult living conditions. The energy minister stated that the average price of gasoline is due to rise by 35 percent. The World Bank described the current financial crisis of Lebanon as one of the deepest depressions in modern history. Consumers queuing for the limited quantity of gasoline often results in violent disputes. Sporadic roadblocks by protestors burning garbage containers spread across the country as frustration grows.

Riots over worsening economy results in clash between protesters and soldiers

Lebanese troops have been deployed in Tripoli to protect state institutions after protests erupted on Saturday night. Sporadic protests and road closures were also reported in Beirut. Demonstrators took to the streets denouncing difficult living conditions, inflation and the dramatic fall of the local currency. In Tripoli, protesters managed to break through the gates of a branch of Lebanon’s central bank, but the army stopped them before they could enter the building. Five protesters and two Lebanese soldiers were injured in the clashes.

Military police interrogate activist

Lebanese military police have interrogated activist Karim Safieddine over allegations that he threw rocks at soldiers during a protest last December. Demonstrators gathered outside the Prince Bachir military police barracks in Beirut to voice their support for Safieddine, who denied the allegations. Police claimed that the incident took place outside the American University of Beirut, where riot police clashed with protesting students over increasing tuition fees and the wider economic crisis in Lebanon.

Army appeals for international aid

The Lebanese army has appealed for international aid after claiming the economic crisis has left soldiers "suffering and hungry." A senior official told the AP news agency that the dire situation was affecting troop morale. “There is no doubt that there is great resentment among the ranks of the military,” said the official. The Lebanese pound has lost 90 percent of its value since 2019 and a soldier's monthly salary is currently worth around $80 at the black market exchange rate.

Protesters attempt to storm Economy Ministry

Protesters attempted to storm the Lebanese Economy Ministry building in Beirut on Sunday. A group of protesters used metal fences to ram the doors of the building before the security forces were deployed to disperse them. The demonstrators also threw rocks and stones during the unrest. The protest took place amid public unrest at the country's economic situation.

Foreign minister offers resignation over IS comments

Lebanon's foreign minister has offered to resign after comments he made about the Islamic State (IS) sparked a diplomatic row. "Those countries of love, friendship and fraternity, they brought us Islamic State,” said Charbel Wehbe on Monday. Although he did not specifically name any countries, the remarks were made during a debate with a Saudi guest on Alhurra TV. Wehbe said he would not be "insulted by a Bedouin" and stormed off the set after the Saudi guest blamed President Michel Aoun for “handing over” his country to Hezbollah.

Israeli launches artillery fire into Lebanon after rocket attacks

The Israeli army has launched artillery fire towards Lebanon in response to rocket fire. "Six failed launch attempts were identified from Lebanon that did not cross into Israeli territory," the Israeli army said in a statement. "Artillery forces fired toward the sources of the launches." Three Grad-type rockets were reportedly fired from the Shebaa Farms area on Monday. No significant damage was reported in either country.

Pro-Palestine protests continue in Lebanon

Pro-Palestine protests were held in Lebanon on Monday as Israeli airstrikes continue to hit Gaza. A large crowd gathered near the southern border with Israel for the third consecutive day to denounce the strikes, which have killed 200 people over the past week. There are more than 400,00 Palestinian refugees registered in Lebanon.

Energy company cuts power over unpaid bills

A Turkish energy company has turned off its generators as part of a dispute with the Lebanese government. Karpowership, which supplies around 25 percent of the country's electricity supply, claims that it is owed more than $100m and that it hasn't been paid in 18 months. "For 18 months, we have been exceedingly flexible with the state, continually supplying power without payment or a payment plan, because the country was already facing very hard times. However, no company can operate in an environment with such direct and undue risk," said the company in a statement. Karpowership is facing corruption charges in Lebanon and a state prosecutor threatened to seize the two barges that are used to provide power.

Rockets fired from Lebanon towards Israel

At least three rockets have been fired from southern Lebanon towards Israel. In a statement, the Israeli military said the rockets were fired from the Qlayleh area north of Naqoura but landed in the Mediterranean sea. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although Lebanese media reported that members of "Palestinian factions" were arrested in connection with the attack.

French minister threatens Lebanese politicians ahead of meeting

France's foreign minister has warned of punitive measures against politicians who are blocking efforts to find a solution to the country's current crisis. "Firmness for those who block the formation of a government: We have taken national measures, and it is only the beginning," said Yves Le Drian on Twitter. He said sanctions could be applied to some Lebanese officials, preventing them from entering France. Le Drian is set to meet President Michel Aoun and Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri.

HRW claims protesters forcibly disappeared

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said protesters were forcibly disappeared by military intelligence officers in Tripoli. The group released a report on Tuesday which claimed that people detained at protests were tortured and faced “unsubstantiated terrorism charges” at military courts. “Lebanese authorities should address the legitimate grievances of people in Tripoli but instead they’ve escalated repression against a population fighting for a dignified life,” said Aya Majzoub, Lebanon researcher at HRW. The abuses have taken place even though the government passed an anti-torture law in 2017.

Speaker of parliament issues dire warning over political crisis

The Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri has warned that Lebanon could sink like the Titanic unless a new government is formed. "The whole country is in danger, the whole country is the Titanic," said Berri. "If the ship sinks, there'll be no-one left." The warning came as he opened a parliamentary session called to approve emergency loans of $200 for the state-run electricity company to pay for fuel. Last week the latest talks between Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and President Michel Aoun failed to agree on a new government after months of deadlock.

Latest government talks fail in Lebanon

The latest round of talks between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri to agree on a new government failed on Monday. Hariri said the president had made "unacceptable" demands, including dictating cabinet members and granting veto powers to his political allies. "I asked the president to listen to the woes of the people and to give this country its final chance of having a technocratic government capable of reform," Hariri said from the presidential palace. Lebanon has been without a working government since shortly after the port explosion in Beirut last August when Hassan Diab’s cabinet resigned.

Aid to be distributed in US dollars due to currency crisis

Several international agencies have agreed to distribute aid in US dollars due to the collapse of the Lebanese pound. The EU, UN and World Bank said an agreement has been reached with the central bank - the Banque du Liban. Last week parliament approved a $246m World Bank loan to help people who have been pushed into poverty by the economic crisis. Anti-government protests are ongoing in the country; on Thursday demonstrators blocked the Beddawi road in the northern city of Tripoli.

President Aoun issues ultimatum to Hariri

President Michel Aoun has told PM-designate Saad Hariri to form a government or step down. The two men have been unable to agree on the formation of a government for the last five months as the country has sunk deeper into an economic crisis. “If prime minister-designate Hariri finds himself unable to form a government … he should make way for those who are,” said Aoun on Wednesday. Earlier this week Lebanon's freefalling currency hit a new low against the US dollar on the black market. The Lebanese pound has lost almost 90 percent of its value in 18 months.

Protests continue across Lebanon

Protests continued across Lebanon on Monday as frustration grows over the dire state of the country's economy. The main highways connecting Beirut to Zouk, Jal al-Dib and al-Darwa were all blocked, while protesters also gathered outside the central bank in the capital. On Saturday caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab threatened to quit due to the lack of progress in the formation of a new government. PM-designate Saad al-Hariri was nominated in October but he has been unable to form a cabinet.

Protests continue as caretaker PM threatens to stop work

Protesters have blocked roads across Lebanon for the fifth day in protest over the collapse of the Lebanese pound, which fell to a new low of 10,000 to the US dollar on Tuesday. The crash has resulted in a sharp increase in prices, as well as delays in the arrival of fuel shipments, leading to more extended power cuts around the country. In Beirut protestors gathered in front of the banking association to demand access to their deposits, and in Tripoli protesters blocked several roads and staged a sit-in at a roundabout near the city port authority. Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri was nominated in October but has failed to form a new cabinet due to the political deadlock with President Michel Aoun. Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab has since threatened to stop performing his duties to pressure politicians to form a new government.

Struggling currency hits new low

Lebanon's embattled currency hit a new record low against the US Dollar on the black market on Tuesday. The dollar was trading at 9,975 Lebanese pounds at midday, breaking the previous low recorded in July. The official exchange rate is fixed at 1,520 pounds to the dollar. The weakness of the currency has resulted in sharp increases in the prices of basic goods, and fresh protesters were held in Beirut, Tripoli, Saida and Bekaa as the public becomes increasingly exasperated by the dire economic conditions.

World Bank threatens to pull vaccine funding

The World Health Organization (WHO) has threatened to pull funding for coronavirus vaccines in Lebanon over allegations that legislators received doses early. “We would record it [as a] breach of terms and conditions agreed with us for fair and equitable vaccination,” Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank regional director, said on Twitter. “Everyone has to register and wait for their turn.” The first batch of 28,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived in the country earlier this month using funding from the World Bank. Abdel Rahman al-Bizri, who heads the committee supervising the vaccination campaign, said he had planned to resign in protest but decided to stay to demand an explanation from the legislature.

Anti-Hezbollah activist found dead near Sidon

A prominent activist who was a vocal critic of Hezbollah has been found dead in southern Lebanon. Lokman Slim was reported missing by his family on Wednesday. He was later discovered in his car with a fatal bullet wound in a remote area south of Sidon. An investigation is currently underway to determine if he was the victim of a targeted killing.

Violent protests continue in Tripoli

A man was killed during further protesters in the northern city of Tripoli on Thursday. Omar Taybah, 30, was shot during clashes between protesters and the security forces. Thousands gathered in the city's main square later in the day to voice their anger at Taybah's death. The Lebanese Red Cross said more than 100 people were wounded, while demonstrators also torched a government building. Anti-government protests have been ongoing all week in response to the ongoing lockdown.

Anti-lockdown protests continue in Tripoli

Angry protesters are continuing to voice their anger at the nationwide lockdown in the northern city of Tripoli. The security forces used water cannons to disperse crowds outside an official building in the central Al Nour square on Wednesday. The Lebanese Red Cross said at least 74 people were wounded in the latest clashes. The protesters are angry at the lack of economic support from the government during the lockdown, which has forced businesses to close and people ordered to remain at home.

Protesters clash with security forces in Tripoli

Five protesters and three members of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) were wounded in clashes in the northern city of Tripoli on Monday night. Hundreds of people had gathered around local buildings to voice their anger at the nationwide lockdown, which was introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country. The protesters threw rocks at riot police, who responded by firing tear gas into the crowd. The lockdown has prevented large sections of the population from working and poverty rates are increasing.

Lockdown extended until 8 February

Lebanon's government has extended the lockdown restrictions until 8 February. The health system is still under extreme pressure and ICU bed occupancy reached 91 percent on Wednesday, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The government has agreed a deal with Pfizer for its vaccine but stocks will not arrive until next month. “Lifting or easing the lockdown at this time will surely lead to a collapse of the health system and result in more deaths. This is unacceptable and unconscionable,” said health official Dr Firass Abiad.

Taxi drivers clash with security forces during protest outside Beirut airport

Taxi drivers have clashes with the security forces outside Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut. The drivers had blocked the entrance to the airport during a protest against the current coronavirus restrictions. Troops were deployed to clear the blockade on Wednesday morning.

Round-the-clock curfew underway in Lebanon

Lebanon has introduced a round-the-clock curfew after the number of coronavirus cases surged in the country. Schools, restaurants and supermarkets will all remain shut for the next 11 days. The country's healthcare system is under intense pressure; however, the shutdown is expected to worsen the dire economic situation.

Government orders three-week lockdown

Lebanon has announced a full lockdown for three weeks in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus. Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hasan said the lockdown would start on Thursday and run until the start of February. Rising cases of the virus have increased pressure on the country's already fragile health system. “It has become clear that the pandemic challenge has reached a stage that is seriously threatening Lebanese lives as hospitals are not capable of providing beds,” Hasan told reporters. There were 2,870 new infections on Sunday, bringing the total to 189,278 since last February.

Several wounded in gas warehouse explosion

At least 10 people have been wounded in an explosion at a gas warehouse near the border with Syria. The Lebanese Red Cross said it sent rescue teams to the village of Al-Qasr following the incident. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the blast.

Refugee camp torched after fighting in Miniyeh

A refugee camp for Syrian refugees has been torched following clashes. The fire started on Saturday night in the Miniyeh region. “The fire has spread to all the tented shelters” – made of plastic sheeting and wood – UNHCR spokesman Khaled Kabbara told AFP. The incident came after an altercation between Syrian workers and a local Lebanese national.

Hezbollah operative sentenced over killing of PM Hariri

The UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon has sentenced a Hezbollah operative to five life sentences for the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others in 2005. Salim Ayache was "integral to the assassination" and played a "leading role," the court said. Hariri was killed in a massive car bomb in the capital, Beirut. Ayache was tried in absentia as he has never been arrested for the crime and is believed to be under the protection of Hezbollah.

Outgoing PM charged over Beirut port blast

The outgoing prime minister, Hassan Diab, has been charged with negligence in connection to the Beirut port explosion in August. Former public works minsters Ghazi Zaeiter and Youssef Fenianos and former Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil also face charges over the blast, which killed more than 200 people and injured thousands more. Judge Fadi Sawwan filed the charges on Thursday.

American University of Beirut increases tuition fees by 160 percent

The American University of Beirut (AUB) has announced it will increase the cost of tuition by 160 percent. The university said it will adopt an exchange rate of 3,900 Lebanese pounds to the US dollar, a marked difference to the official rate of 1,500. “We delayed it as far as we can, hoping for an economic rescue of Lebanon as a country and some kind of sustainable plan … clearly that’s not imminent,” said AUB President Fadlo Khuri.

Protesters gather in Beirut over subsidy cuts

Protesters have blocked roads and burned tyres in central Beirut in response to reports that the government will cut subsidies for basic goods. The head of the central bank said government subsidies on flour, fuel and medicines were not sustainable. The latest unrest comes as President Michel Aoun met with PM-designate Saad Hariri to discuss the formation of a new government. No breakthrough has been made on the issue of who appoints key ministers.

Sit-in protest held in Beirut

A sit-in protest has been held in Basta al-Tahta in Beirut over allegations of governmental corruption. The protest was staged on Thursday and was organised by the casualties of the massive port explosion, which hit the capital city earlier this year, causing significant widespread damage. The protesters are calling for an end to corruption within the government, claiming marginalisation and injustice. The demonstration was also held to call on the government to improve the provision of social care and protection to those affected by the blast, which left many permanently disabled.

Former army boss charged with corruption

A former head of the army, Commander General Jean Kahwaji, has been charged with corruption. Seven other high ranking military officials have also been accused of “committing the crime of illicit enrichment and exploiting their official positions to accrue vast fortunes and sums, by using their influence and accepting bribes.” The charges are based on an investigation carried out by Lebanon's public prosecution office.

Night-time curfew extended due to rise in Covid-19

The night-time curfew in Lebanon has been extended from 21:00 to 05:00 due to a rise in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases. Lockdowns have also been extended in 115 towns and villages across the country. There have been 82,617 confirmed cases and 643 deaths in Lebanon since the pandemic started earlier this year.

Saad Hariri returns as PM

Saad Hariri has been picked as Lebanon's new prime minister, a year after he resigned in response to mass anti-government protests. Hariri has been asked to form a new government after Mustapha Adib quit when he failed to get support for his cabinet. In a speech, Hariri promised to form a government of non-partisan experts to implement economic and political reforms as laid out by French President Emmaneul Macron when he visited the country in September.

Lebanon-Israel start maritime border talks

Lebanon and Israel are to commence indirect talks over their disputed maritime border. US officials will mediate the talks, which are to be held at the headquarters of UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL in the Lebanese border town of Naqoura from Wednesday. Both sides have insisted the talks are purely technical and are not indicative of a normalisation in ties. It's unclear how long the talks will last.

Covid-19 restrictions tightened

Covid-19 restrictions have been further tightened in Lebanon as cases continue to rise. Lebanon has experienced a surge in coronavirus cases recently, sparking fears a continuing rise in cases could overwhelm the country's fragile health system. The rise in cases also comes as the country continues to grapple with the effects of an economic meltdown and the recent devastation caused by a huge deadly explosion in Beirut's port earlier this year. So far, more than 150 villages have been ordered into lockdown for a week, while bars and nightclubs have also been ordered to close until further notice.

Fuel tank explosion in Beirut kills four

A fuel tank explosion in the capital city of Beirut has killed at least four people. The blast occurred on Friday night in a warehouse containing a diesel tank in the western neighbourhood of Tariq Jadidah. According to the Lebanese Red Cross, the explosion killed four and injured several others., with local reports indicating as many as 30 casualties may have been reported. The cause of the explosion has yet to be determined.

Lebanon and Israel agree framework for border talks

Israel and Lebanon have agreed to a framework for US-mediated talks to resolve a long-running dispute over the two countries land and maritime borders. “This is a framework agreement, and not a final one," said Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Thursday. Israel's energy minister said the talks would begin after mid-October. The talks will include a disputed maritime border near three Lebanese offshore energy blocks.

Two soldiers killed by terrorists

Two members of the Lebanese security forces have been killed in a gunbattle with militants in the north of the country. The troops were killed during the incident on Saturday evening near a checkpoint in the north-west area of Araman. The security forces also killed at least six militants during clashes near the Syrian border.

PM-designate fails to form new government

Prime minister-designate Mustapha Adib has abandoned efforts to form a new government after a failure to reach an agreement between rival factions. Adib said he was stepping down following a meeting with President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace. The previous government resigned following the explosion at the port in Beirut that killed at least 190 people on 4 August. Adib tried to form a cabinet made up of independent specialists but this proved difficult when the main Shia groups, Hezbollah and Amal, insisted on retaining control of the Finance Ministry.

Hezbollah arms depot destroyed in Ain Qana

A large explosion has destroyed a suspected Hezbollah arms depot in the southern village of Ain Qana. Several people were wounded in the blast, which occurred at 12:00 local time. "Instantly, an army force arrived at the site and launched an investigation into the causes of the blast," said the Lebanese army in a statement. The state news agency NNA said that the blast coincided with "intensive Israeli enemy flights over Nabatiyeh and Iqlim al-Tuffah." The Israel military has not commented on the suggestion that it was responsible.

President Aoun says Lebanon going 'to hell'

President Michel Aoun has said the country was going "to hell" if a government is not formed soon. "As the positions have grown harder, there appears no solution on the horizon soon," he said in a televised address. He proposed annulling sectarian quotas in the main cabinet ministries after Lebanon's two dominant Shia parties - the Iran-backed Hezbollah and its ally the Amal Movement - demanded Shia ministers in the cabinet, including the finance minister. Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib has also called on the various political factions to cooperate to form a new government.

Fire erupts at Beirut shopping centre

A fire broke out at a shopping centre in the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday. The blaze at the Beirut Souks centre, which was under construction, came after a series of fires in the city and just over a month after the devastating explosion at the city's port. Firefighters managed to extinguish the latest fire and an investigation into what caused it is underway.

Three soldiers killed during raid in northern Lebanon

Three soldiers have been killed and another wounded during a raid in the northern town of Beddawi. The army said troops were attempting to arrest wanted terrorists when they came under fire. The security forces are still in pursuit of the suspects. Earlier this month several members of a militant cell linked to the Islamic State (IS) were arrested.

Large fire erupts at Beirut port

A major fire has erupted at the port in Beirut, just over a month after the massive explosion that killed more than 190 people. The emergency services are at the scene and fire brigades are working to extinguish the blaze. The cause of the fire has not yet been established. On 4 August a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port exploded, causing major damage across the capital.

Former ministers linked to Hezbollah hit with US sanctions

Two former government ministers have been hit by US sanctions over their links to Hezbollah. Yusuf Finyanus and Ali Khalil are accused of providing contracts to firms owned by the group worth millions of dollars. "For too long, Lebanon's political leaders have ignored their responsibility to address the needs of their people and instead built a political system that serves their private interests," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

Several wounded in Beirut clashes

Several people have been wounded during clashes in the Tariq Al-Jadida district of Beirut. The security forces were deployed to the area to restore order following the confrontation on Monday night. The wounded were taken to local hospitals and Karam Darwish street was cordoned off by police. The reason for the unrest is not yet known.

Rescuers search site for possible survivor

Rescue workers are searching a site in Beirut after signs of life were detected, a month after the massive explosion that rocked the city. A specialist team from Chile are removing rubble after specialist equipment detected a heartbeat in the Mar Mikhael area on Thursday. Thermal imaging equipment also found body heat inside the debris. At least 190 people died and 6,000 others were wounded in the blast, which was caused when 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded.

Army finds more than four tonnes of ammonium nitrate in Beirut

The Lebanese army has found more than four tonnes of ammonium nitrate near the port in Beirut. The site is close to where 2,750 tonnes of the chemical exploded last month, killing 190 people and wounding 6,000 others. In a statement, the military said the ammonium nitrate was found in four containers and has been "dealt with." Twenty-five people have been arrested in connection with the explosion, including port and customs officials.

Security forces fire tear gas at protesters, Beirut

The security forces have fired tear gas at anti-government protesters in the capital, Beirut. Thousands of people had gathered to call for justice over the devastating explosion last month, which killed 190 people and left thousands more wounded. The latest unrest comes after the country's political leaders named the former ambassador to Berlin, Mustapha Adib, as the new prime minister-designate. French President Emmanuel Macron is also visiting the city to pressure the government to implement reforms to tackle corruption.

Armed disputes break out amongst residents in Khalde

Armed disputes have broken out in the Khalde area, where local resident have reportedly clashed on Thursday evening, leaving two people dead and three others injured. According to Reuters, the violent dispute came about due to arguments over a religious banner being displayed. The police have made four arrests in connection with the violence.

Lockdown measures imposed as coronavirus cases spike

Lebanon is set to impose a two-week lockdown following a rise in Covid-19 cases. The spike has reportedly emerged following the massively devastating explosion at Beirut's port earlier this month, which killed at least 178 people. The blast damaged six major hospitals and 20 clinics. While medical facilities continue to function, field hospitals are still treating thousands for trauma and burns and hospitals are rapidly running out of space for new patients, with the healthcare system facing extreme pressure under the circumstances. The disaster occurred during a severe economic downturn, which has been compounded by the financial strains of the Covid-19 pandemic. An estimated 300,000 have been rendered homeless by the blast, with many now living in unhygienic conditions in which the virus can spread more easily. Recent data suggests that transmission rates have increased since the explosion and are expected to further increase over the next few weeks, due to so many being unable to follow precautionary measures - such as social distancing or maintaining regular hygiene. Under the two-week lockdown, markets, shopping centres, gyms, and pools will be forced to close from Friday 21 August and an overnight curfew will also be enforced. The measure comes after a record 456 new cases were recorded on Monday, and 421 new cases were recorded on Tuesday.

Verdict expected in Hariri trial

The verdict in the trial of four people accused of killing former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri will be finally handed down on Tuesday. The suspects, who are all members of Hezbollah, are accused of killing Hariri and 21 others in a bombing in 2005. The verdict will be delivered at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), which is based near The Hague. The whereabouts of the four suspects -  Salim Jamil Ayyash, Hassan Habib Merhi, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra - is not known.

Protesters call for removal of president and political elite

Anti-establishment protesters have called for the removal of Lebanon's president and other members of the political elite. During the latest rallies in Beirut, demonstrators carried pictures of the victims of last week's explosion at the port, which killed more than 200 people. Earlier this week Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned, saying the blast was the result of endemic corruption.

Protests continue despite government resignation

Protests in Beirut have continued following a deadly explosion last week, despite the government's resignation in the wake of the tragedy. The blast from Beirut's port rippled through the city, causing severe widespread damage. More than 200 people have died so far and hundreds of thousands of people have been rendered homeless. The explosion originated from a fire which accidentally detonated around 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which had been stored without safety measures at Beirut's port for six years. Protests have broken out following the disaster, and continued for a third consecutive night on Monday evening, with clashes reported near the parliament building. The blast has come at a time of economic crisis and has further fuelled public anger over government corruption and mismanagement. Recovery operations remain ongoing on the ground in Beirut.

PM Diab resigns as anger rises over port blast

Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab has resigned after last week's massive explosion at the port in Beirut. At least 200 people died in the blast and a further 6,000 were wounded, prompting violent anti-government protests. "I declare today the resignation of this government. May God protect Lebanon," said Diab in a statement on Monday. "Today we follow the will of the people in their demand to hold accountable those responsible for the disaster that has been in hiding for seven years, and their desire for real change." More than 200,000 people have been left homeless by the explosion, while losses are estimated to be between $10bn to $15bn.

Death toll rises as anti-government protests continue

The death toll from last week's massive explosion in Beirut has passed 200, according to officials. The city's governor, Marwan Abboud, said that dozens of people are still missing, including many foreign workers. Anti-government protests continued over the weekend and led to clashes with the security forces. Lebanon's Justice Minister Marie Claude Najm, Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad, and Environment Minister Damianos Kattar have all resigned following the blast.

Anti-government protests erupt in Beirut

Anti-government protests have erupted in Beirut, days after the huge explosion in the port devastated the city. Thousands of people gathered near parliament on Thursday night to vent their anger at the government. Protesters clashed with the security forces, who fired tear gas to disperse the crowds. At least 137 people were killed and 5,000 others wounded in the blast. Sixteen officials have been arrested as part of an investigation into the storage of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate at the port.

Port officials placed under house arrest

Several port officials have been placed under house arrest pending an investigation into yesterday's massive explosion. Public records show that officials knew that ammonium nitrate was being stored at the port for more than six years. Port General Manager Hassan Koraytem claims that he had asked for the chemicals to be exported or sold but his requests were ignored. Lebanon's Supreme Defence Council has vowed that those found responsible will face the "maximum punishment" possible. The death toll from the blast has risen to 135, with more than 4,000 wounded.

State of emergency declared after Beirut blast

A two-week state of emergency has been declared in Lebanon following the explosion on Tuesday afternoon in the city’s port area. At least 100 people have been killed and more than 4,000 others wounded, although the casualty figures are expected to rise as rescue workers search for survivors. President Michel Aoun said in a statement that the blast, which was heard as far away as Cyprus, was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that was being stored at a warehouse in the port, while Prime Minister Hassan Diab called for a day of mourning on Wednesday. Three of the city's hospitals were destroyed in the blast and two others were badly damaged.

Large explosion reported in Beirut

A large explosion has been reported in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. Video footage showed a large mushroom cloud followed by a shockwave that swept through the city, causing major damage to buildings and vehicles. At least 25 people have been confirmed dead and thousands more wounded, although the death toll is expected to rise. Lebanon's National News Agency said a fire had broken out at an explosives depot at the port shortly before the blast, while the interior minister said that ammonium nitrate was being stored in a warehouse at the port.

Protesters try to storm energy ministry

Protesters have attempted to storm the energy ministry in Beirut due to prolonged power cuts in the country. The security forces were deployed to disperse the protesters, leading to clashes. Some areas have only been receiving two hours of electricity per day due to the ongoing economic crisis, which has limited the government's ability to import fuel.

Foreign minister resigns citing 'failed state' fears

Lebanon's foreign minister has resigned, saying the country risked becoming a "failed state." Nassif Hitti submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Monday. "I participated in this government on the basis that I have one employer named Lebanon, and I found in my country many employers and conflicting interests," said Hitti. "If they don't come together around the interests of the Lebanese people and save them, then the ship, God forbid, will sink with everyone on board."

Covid-19 restrictions reimposed in Lebanon

Strict restrictions have been reimposed in Lebanon after a sharp rise in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases. Places of worship, cinemas, bars, nightclubs, sports events and popular markets will be forced to close for two weeks. The lockdown comes as people are preparing to celebrate Eid al-Adha, the Islamic festival which begins on Thursday. “We have to go back a step back and work with determination as though the pandemic has now begun,” said Minister of Health Hamad Hassan.

Exchange of fire reported on Israel-Lebanon border

An exchange of fire has been reported on the Israel-Lebanon border. The Israeli army said it had thwarted an attempt by Hezbollah to infiltrate Israeli territory on Monday. A series of explosions have been heard in the Shebaa Farms area. The incident comes after the Lebanese group vowed to avenge the death of one of its fighters in an Israeli airstrike near Damascus in Syria last week.

Director of finance ministry quits

The director of Lebanon's finance ministry, Alain Bifani, has resigned citing "forces of darkness and injustice" which are preventing the country from recovering from its financial crisis. "There is very little time left. I decided to resign because I refuse to be a partner or a witness to what is happening," said Bifani in a statement. Lebanon is currently seeking around $10bn from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help it deal with the crisis, which has resulted in mass protests and a collapse in the currency.

Protests erupt as currency falls to record lows

Protesters have taken to the streets across Lebanon as the currency falls to record lows. The Lebanese pound has lost more than 70 percent of its value since October when anti-government protests began in the country. Protesters in Beirut built roadblocks, while in the northern city of Tripoli soldiers were deployed to disperse rioters who threw petrol bombs and rocks at banks. "Today, the dollar has reached 7,000 Lebanese pounds. We can't afford to eat or pay rent or anything like that. We will stay here until the dollar rate goes down and until all our demands are met," a protester told the Reuters news agency. The prime minister has called an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the economic crisis.

Government announces total shutdown after cases rise

The government has announced a four-day nationwide lockdown following a spike in the number of coronavirus cases. Prime Minister Hassan Diab said double-digits cases over the last few days threatened to undermine the country's response to the pandemic. "This government has made an important achievement in facing the challenge of the coronavirus epidemic," Diab said during a cabinet session on Tuesday. "Unfortunately, due to complacency in some areas, and then neglect and irresponsibility of some citizens, this achievement is threatened with collapse today." There have been 870 confirmed cases and 26 deaths in Lebanon.

One killed in Tripoli riots

One person has been killed and dozens more wounded in riots in the northern city of Tripoli. The security forces fired rubber bullets, tear gas and live rounds after protesters attacked banks. The victim has been identified as Fouaz Fouad al-Seman, who was shot during the unrest. Earlier this week protesters set up roadblocks across the country in frustration at the dire state of the economy.

Protesters block roads in anger at economy

Protesters blocked roads across Lebanon on Sunday to voice their frustration at the deteriorating state of the economy. Six people were wounded in clashes with police and protesters in the Zalqa area, north-east of Beirut. The Beirut-Sidon highway was blocked by another group, while unrest has also been reported in the northern city of Tripoli. The Lebanese economy was already struggling before the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak hit the country.

Man kills nine in Baakline shooting

A man has shot dead his wife and eight others in the town of Baakline in the Chouf mountains. The assailant carried out the attack on Tuesday before he fled into a nearby forest. Prime Minister Hassan Diab denounced the "horrific crime" and called on the security forces to track down the gunman and any accomplices.

Dozens protest against Covid-19 restrictions

Dozens of shop owners have gathered at the Nahr Abu Ali roundabout to protest against coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions. The demonstrators demanded that the government eases restrictions so that they can return to work. Many small business owners say they cannot afford to provide for their families due to the economic crisis, rising food prices and forced closures due to the outbreak of Covid-19. There have been 677 confirmed cases and 21 deaths in Lebanon.

Israeli drone targets Hezbollah vehicle

An Israeli drone has targeted a car carrying members of Hezbollah on the Syrian side of the border with Lebanon. "An Israeli drone first struck near a car transporting Hezbollah members," a source told the AFP. "The passengers got out before it was then directly hit in a second strike." The incident took place near the Jdaidit Yabous crossing on Wednesday.

Philippines ambassador to Lebanon dies of coronavirus

The Philippine ambassador to Lebanon has died from complications from the coronavirus (Covid-19). Bernardita Catalla, 62, had worked as a diplomat for 27 years. "Bernie, as Ambassador Catalla was fondly called, has always lent a helping hand, to her family, friends and colleagues," said the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs in a statement. There have been 16 deaths and 494 confirmed cases in Lebanon.

Coronavirus cases increase to 61

The total number of confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in Lebanon has increased to 61. On Sunday Health Minister Hassan Diab confirmed the second death in the country, a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions. Officials have also banned travel to and from 11 countries with significant coronavirus outbreaks, including Italy, Iran, China and South Korea. Later this week restrictions will also be imposed on travel from France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Iraq, Egypt and Syria.

Lebanon to default on debt payments

Lebanon is set to default on its foreign debt payments as the country struggles with an ongoing financial crisis. Prime Minister Hassan Diab would not pay the $1.2bn bond payment due on Monday. "The debt has become bigger than Lebanon can bear, and bigger than the ability of the Lebanese to meet interest payments," said Diab. The default could result in higher unemployment and further civil unrest in the country.

First case of coronavirus confirmed in Lebanon

The first case of coronavirus (covid-19) has been confirmed in Lebanon. The patient, who recently travelled from the Iranian city of Qom where there have been several confirmed cases, has been quarantined at Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut. Two other potential cases are being investigated, according to Health Minister Hamad Hassan. “There is no need for excessive panic at this time... The patient is in a good state,” said Hassan.

ISF officers shot dead in Beirut

Two officers in the Internal Security Forces (ISF) have been shot dead and a third wounded at the Ouzai police station in southern Beirut. Jalal Shreif, the head of the station, was targeted by a man whose brother was detained. The assailant, identified as Hasan Hussein, grabbed the victims weapon before opening fire. He then used the gun on himself and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Eighteen wounded in Lebanon clashes

At least 18 people have been wounded in clashes between anti-government protesters and the Lebanese security forces in Beirut. The unrest was sparked when demonstrators tried to break through barriers outside parliament on Tuesday morning. MPs were heading inside the building for a vote of confidence in the new cabinet of Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

Two intelligence officers killed in Hermel

Two Lebanese army intelligence officers have been killed and three others wounded in an attack in the town of Hermel. The group was ambushed by gunmen while they tracked a stolen car on Sunday. In a statement, Prime Minister Hassan Diab condemned the attack. "Every attack on [the Army] is an attack on Lebanese people of all kinds in all regions," he said.

Anti-government protesters clash with police in Beirut

Anti-government protesters have clashed with the security forces in Lebanon's capital, Beirut. Hundreds of people gathered in the city on Saturday to reject the newly formed government, claiming that it is a continuation of the old regime. The security forces fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters, who had gathered around the central government building - The Grand Serail.

New government formed in Lebanon

A new government led by university professor Hassan Diab has been formed in Lebanon. Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned in October following widespread anti-government protests in the country. There were further outbreaks of civil unrest over the weekend, with protesters clashing with the security forces in downtown Beirut. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the announcement, according to his spokesperson.  “He looks forward to working with Prime Minister Hassan Diab and the incoming Council of Ministers, including in support of Lebanon’s reform agenda and to address the pressing needs of its people.”

Scores wounded in anti-government protests

Scores of people have been wounded in clashes between anti-government protests and the security forces in Beirut. Thousands of people marched to Martyrs' Square on Saturday night, where they were confronted by riot police. Tear gas and water cannons were fired to disperse the crowds, while protesters threw rocks and other missiles at police. The Red Cross said 160 people had been treated for injuries. The protesters were some of the most violent since anti-government rallies began last October.

Security forces clash with protesters in Beirut

The Lebanese security forces have clashed with protesters in the capital Beirut. The Lebanese Red Cross said 47 people were injured during unrest on Wednesday night, while lawyers said 17 people were arrested. The unrest came after protesters attacked banks in the Hamra neighbourhood, smashing windows and destroying ATMs. The demonstrators were angered at restrictions on dollar withdrawals and also led to rallies outside the central bank.

Protesters block roads leading to Beirut

Protesters have blocked several major roads surrounding the capital, Beirut. Roadblocks consisting of burning tyres were constructed on three highways on Tuesday morning. Meanwhile dozens of people gathered outside the central bank to denounce the governor. Anti-government protests have also been reported in Tripoli, Sidon and in Akkar province.

Twelve wounded in protest over power cuts, Tripoli

At least 12 people have been wounded in clashes between protesters and the security forces in the city of Tripoli. Hundreds of people had gathered outside the Qadisha Electricity Company to complain about a lack of electricity. There have been frequent power rationing in the city after successive power stations failed to invest in state infrastructure.

Protesters block main road in Beirut

Protesters in Beirut have made an attempt to block a main road, prompting a military response. Local reports state that the protesters gathered on Saeb Salam road on Friday to block the road whilst chanting protest slogans against the government and the new prime minister, Hassan Diab. The Lebanese armed forces were called out to respond to the unrest and disperse the crowd. No casualties have been reported as a result of the incident.

Former minister set to be named PM

Former Minister of Education and Higher Education Hassan Diab is rumoured to be named Lebanon's new prime minister later today. President Michel Aoun is set to hold discussions with legislators to discuss the choice of PM after caretaker Saad Hariri reiterated his intention to withdraw his candidacy. Diab is expected to be supported by Hezbollah, Amal and the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM). Anti-establishment protests have been ongoing since the start of October.

Security forces clash with Hezbollah and Amal supporters

The Lebanese security forces have clashed with Hezbollah and Amal supporters in the capital, Beirut. Supporters of the two Shia parties tried to storm a square in the centre of the city in response to a video by a Sunni Muslim from the northern city of Tripoli. More than 60 people were wounded in the unrest on Monday night. The latest violence comes as officials announced that they had postponed the nomination of the country's new prime minister after major Christian parties said they would not support the candidacy of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Dozens wounded in Beirut clashes

Dozens of people have been wounded in the latest clashes between protesters and riot police in Beirut. Angry crowds threw fireworks and other missiles at officers, who responded with tear gas and water cannons on Sunday night. The unrest followed similar clashes in the capital on Saturday, with thousands taking to the streets to denounce the political crisis in the country. Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, who resigned at the end of October following mass protests, is expected to return to the post after businessman Samir Khatib withdrew his candidacy.

PM candidate Khatib withdraws

Lebanese businessman Samir Khatib has withdrawn his candidacy for prime minister. The move means that caretaker PM Saad Hariri has re-emerged as a candidate, despite resigning from the post in October and last month vowing not to stand. Khatib said he took the decision after Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian said he backed Hariri to form a new government. The news sparked fresh rallies in Beirut, with protesters demanding an independent candidate.

Protesters block roads as Khatib near premiership

Protesters blocked roads in Minyeh, Akkar and Zahle early on Wednesday morning. Rallies have also been reported outside the Education Ministry in Beirut and in several locations across Tripoli. The latest unrest comes as the countries political factions appear to have agreed on Samir Khatib as the new prime minister.

Petrol workers launch nationwide strike

Petrol workers in Lebanon have launched an open-ended nationwide strike. The petrol stations union, the Syndicate of Gas Station Owners, said it was taking the action in response to the loses its members have been incurred by the economic crisis in the country. Caretaker Energy Minister Nada Boustani said fuel would be imported by her ministry within 10 to 15 days following the announcement of strike action.

Caretaker PM Hariri withdraws candidacy

Lebanon's caretaker prime minister, Saad Hariri, has announced that he is withdrawing his candidacy for the premiership. Hariri resigned at the end of October following weeks of anti-government protests but has remained in a caretaker capacity until the various parliamentary blocs agree on a new candidate. He said that he hopes his announcement would prompt the blocs to come up with a new candidate. Violence has continued across the country this week, with members of the Amal and Hezbollah attacking anti-government protesters in Beirut and Tyre.

Clashes continue in the southern town of Tyre

Clashes are ongoing between anti-government protesters and supporters of the Shia groups Amal and Hezbollah. The Lebanese security forces intervened to separate the two groups, while heavy gunfire was also reported around the Cola bridge in Beirut. Last month members of Amal and Hezbollah destroyed the main protest camp in the capital. Protests have been ongoing since October and prompted the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Protesters clash with Hezbollah and Amal supporters, Beirut

Anti-government protesters have clashed with supporters of the Hezbollah and Amal parties in Beirut. The security forces fired tear gas after Hezbollah supporters attacked the protesters with clubs and metal rods on Monday morning. The confrontation took place at an intersection linking the east and west of the city, where protesters had gathered from Sunday evening. Opposition groups are also calling for a general strike in a bid to force major political reforms in the country.

Three injured amid protests in Beirut

At least three people were injured and 12 others were arrested amid protests in Beirut, as demonstrations enter their 35th consecutive day. According to reports, the three casualties and 12 arrests occurred when scuffles broke out on Tuesday, when hundreds of protesters clashed with riot police outside the parliament building. Anti-government demonstrations remain ongoing nationwide, with protests reported across major towns and cities in the Akkar, Beirut, Beqaa, North, and South governorates. 

Police clash with protesters in Beirut

The police have allegedly clashed with protesters in Beirut. According to reports, scuffles broke out amongst the crowds after riot police were deployed to the scene outside the parliament building on Tuesday, where hundreds of demonstrators had gathered as part of a protest. The protesters had arranged to block the entrances to the building, to prevent lawmakers from attending a scheduled legislative session which had already been postponed following disruption last week. No casualty figures have been confirmed following the clash, while disruption along Abdul Hamid Karami Street should be anticipated.

Protesters voice anger at President Aoun

Thousands of people have taken to the streets to voice their anger at President Michel Aoun. Earlier this week, Aoun told demonstrators to emigrate if they "see no decent people in this state." Protesters burned tyres and threw stones at troops in Beirut, while crowds also marched towards the Presidential Palace in Baabda. "His words were offensive, it was an insult; it just fueled everyone, made everyone very angry," a protester told Al Jazeera. "Who is he to tell us to leave our own country? If anyone should leave this country, it should be him and his cronies."

Political parties agree on new prime minister

The main political parties in Lebanon have agreed on former finance minister Mohamad Safadi to become the new prime minister. "The blocs of Hezbollah, Free Patriotic Movement, Future Movement and Amal Movement agreed on naming Safadi as prime minister," a source told the Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon. The 75-year-old would replace Saad Hariri, who resigned last month following weeks of anti-government protests.

Troops kill protester south of Beirut

Lebanese troops have opened fire on protesters south of the capital, Beirut, killing at least one person. The incident happened after protesters blocked a road in Khaldeh on Tuesday. The victim succumbed to his injuries in hospital while the soldier has been detained while an investigation is carried out. The latest unrest was sparked when President Michel Aoun called on protesters to go home and said that no progress has been made in the formation of a new government. "We are working day and night to get the situation in order. If they [protesters] keep going, there is a catastrophe. If they stop, there is still room for (us) to fix things," said Aoun on Tuesday.

Fuel stations close amid nationwide shortages

Multiple gas stations have closed across Lebanon amid a nationwide fuel shortage. All stations have closed in the ancient southern city of Tyre, while most stations in Nabatieh, Aley and Metn have also been closed since Saturday. In the capital, rationing has been widely reported, resulting in long queues at stations. The shortages have been linked to the recent anti-government protests, which has seen roads blocked and banks closed.

Protesters block key state institutions

Lebanese protesters blocked key institutions in Beirut and other large cities on Wednesday. Demonstrators formed sit-ins outside the energy, foreign affairs, finance, justice, tourism, communication and labour ministries in the capital, along with the head office of energy provider Electricite Du Liban. The move represents a shift in tactics from the protesters, who previously blocked main roads and highways in major cities. The resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri last week has not placated the protesters, who are demanding more comprehensive reforms to the structure of government.

Main highways blocked as protests continue

Main highways have been blocked across Lebanon as protests continue for the 19th consecutive day. Demonstrators built roadblocks on Sunday night as protesters called for a general strike. “We will not allow anyone to rob us of our revolution and our dreams,” a protester told the Daily Star. In a statement on Monday, President Michel Aoun said the first task of the next government will be to tackle corruption.

Hariri asked to remain as caretaker PM

President Michel Aoun has asked Prime Minister Saad Hariri's government to continue in a caretaker capacity. Hariri announced his resignation on Tuesday in a televised address, saying he had reached a "dead end" in response to weeks of anti-government protests. On Friday the Lebanese police arrested protesters who blocked the entrance to the Association of Banks in Beirut. Banks opened this morning, many for the first time since the protests started on 17 October.

Prime Minister Hariri resigns over mass protests

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has gone to the presidential palace to submit his resignation. Hariri said he will submit his resignation to President Michel Aoun following nearly two weeks of anti-government protests across Lebanon. "We have reached a deadlock and we need a shock in order to brave through the crisis," Hariri said in a televised statement. The decision comes despite warnings from Hezbollah that Hariri's resignation would leave a dangerous void.

Gunmen open fire on protest tent, Bekaa

Unknown gunmen have opened fire on a protest tent in the western town of Ghazze. The assailants opened fire from a black Mercedes, hitting a water tank which supplies the town. Elsewhere, anti-government protests continue to be reported across Lebanon. Government sources said that Prime Minister Saad Hariri is likely to announce his resignation later on Tuesday.

Protesters form human chain across country

Protesters in Lebanon have reportedly formed a human chain running from north to south across the country. According to Al Jazeera, tens of thousands of people have taken part in the protest, which was organised on the 11th day of anti-government protests to symbolise national unity. Demonstrators joined hands on Sunday from Tripoli to Tyre - making a 170km-long chain, which rain through the main protest hub in Beirut.

Fifteen wounded in Nabatieh clashes

At least 15 people have been wounded in clashes between police and protesters in the southern Nabatieh governorate. “At least one of the injured protesters in Nabatieh has been taken to intensive care after being hit on the head,” a source told The Daily Star. The violence erupted when police tried to remove a roadblock set up by protesters on Wednesday. Large rallies have been reported again on Thursday with protesters rejecting President Michel Aoun's promise to start a constructive dialogue with demonstrators.

Protesters reject government reforms

Protesters have vowed to remain on the streets despite the government's offers of economic reforms. A general strike was declared on Tuesday, a day after Prime Minister Saad Hariri said they would implement a series of measures, including a 50 percent cut in salary for politicians, in a bid to reduce the budget deficit. “We just want to say that Beirut’s Downtown remains closed,” a protester told the Daily Star newspaper. Large rallies have been reported outside the Central Bank in Hamra and near the Mohammad al-Amin mosque in central Beirut.

Government approves reforms after mass protests

The government has approved a series of economic reforms in a bid to appease protesters following several days of civil unrest. Prime Minister Saad Hariri said politicians' salaries will be cut in half and financial aid will be given to poor families. "These decisions are not designed as a trade-off," said Hariri in a statement on Monday. "They are not to ask you to stop expressing your anger. That is your decision to make." Main roads in Beirut were blocked by protesters on Monday, while most schools and businesses were shut in the city.

Mass protests continue for fifth day

Anti-government protests are continuing in Lebanon for a fifth consecutive day. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across the country on Sunday, with many protesters setting up camps and remaining in position overnight. On Monday evening the cabinet to set to meet to discuss economic proposals from Prime Minister Saad Hariri in an attempt to end the crisis. Roadblocks have been reported in the Downtown Beirut, Zouk Mosbeh and the Bekaa Valley, while the main Beirut-Damascus has been blocked in several locations.

Protests erupt over tax proposals

Thousands of people took to the streets on Thursday to denounce the government's proposed new taxes. The cabinet announced plans to impose a $0.20 fee on WhatsApp calls per day and said it was considering raising value-added tax from 11 to 15 percent. On Friday the government reversed the plans in response to the protests. Further unrest was reported in central Beirut this morning, with police firing tear gas at demonstrators. At least 60 people have been wounded, according to the Red Cross. Interior Minister Raya El Hassan has warned that the country could collapse if the government falls.

Forest fires spread in western Lebanon

Forest fires have spread across western Lebanon, prompting the government to ask for international help. A heatwave and strong winds have helped the fire to spread in mountainous areas, with heavy smoke reported in Beirut and Sidon. At least one firefighter and two forestry workers have been killed, while eight others have been wounded. Prime Minister Saad Hariri warned that if the fires were started intentionally, those responsible "will pay a high price."

Fuel stations close in protest at currency shortages

Fuel stations across Lebanon have closed in protest at the shortage of dollars in the country. The state-run National News Agency said that 97 percent of Lebanon's suppliers participated in the strike, which started on Tuesday. “If we don’t find dollars, we won’t be able to import products and there will be a shortage,” warned Maroun Chammas, the vice-chairman of MEDCO petroleum.

Thousands gather for Ashura rally

Tens of thousands of people have joined a march in Beirut to mark the religious festival of Ashura. An estimated 50,000 people gathered to hear a reading of the story of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, who died in the Battle of Karbala in 680. Large areas of southern Beirut were closed to cars from early on Tuesday morning, while areas of downtown were also closed off.

Hezbollah threatens Israel over attacks

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah has warned Israel that any attacks against Lebanon will be met with an appropriate response. “It is the right of the Lebanese to defend their country and sovereignty, and there will be no red lines,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech. He also claimed that Israel does not respect UN Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between the two countries. There have been increasing tensions since Israel sent to drones into southern Beirut on 25 August, prompting retaliatory fire from Hezbollah.

Hezbollah shoots down Israeli drone

Hezbollah officials say they have shot down an Israeli drone near the southern town of Ramyah. Al-Manar TV reported that the drone was "confronted" on Monday morning and is now in the hands of Hezbollah fighters. Israel has confirmed the incident but said no information could be extracted from the device.

Officials declare state of economic emergency

Lebanese officials have declared a state of economic emergency due to high public debts. An emergency meeting was held on Monday in an attempt to find a solution to the crisis, with the national debt now 150 percent of GDP. Prime Minister Saad Hariri said the employment in the public sector will be frozen, while President Michel Aoun said: “We have to unite our efforts to come out with solutions to the economic crisis that is strangling the dreams and hopes of our people.” Tax rises are expected on fuel on VAT.

Hezbollah fires rockets into Israel

The Hezbollah militant group has reportedly fired three anti-tank rockets into northern Israel. The attack was allegedly retaliation for last week's reported Israeli drone attack in Beirut. "Hezbollah fired two to three anti-tank missiles from Lebanon, hitting an IDF military outpost and ambulance in northern Israel", said the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) on Twitter. The Israeli army has apparently responded to the rocket attack by attacked Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon.

Israel and Hezbollah agree partial ceasefire

The Israeli government has reportedly agreed to a partial ceasefire with the Hezbollah. The unwritten agreement aims to cease attacks in Lebanon due to the heightened risk of war breaking out in the region. According to unconfirmed local reports, both sides will avoid attacking Lebanese and Israeli territory, although exchanges of fire may still occur in Syrian territory. The news comes after Israel closed roads along its northern border to military vehicles on Tuesday, fearing an attack by Hezbollah.

Islamist leader killed at Ain al-Hilweh camp

A notorious Islamist leader has been killed at the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp. Bilal al-Arqoub was targeted by rival fighters from Osbat al-Ansa on Sunday morning. The incident came two days after he was accused of killing Hussein Alaaeddine, a member of Osbat al-Ansar, during a rally for Palestinian rights.

Palestinians protest at Rashidieh camp

Dozens of Palestinians have blocked the entrance to the Rashidieh camp in southern Lebanon. Protesters set fire to tyres at the camp on Monday in response to the Labor Ministry's crackdown on undocumented foreign workers. Last month Labor Minister Camille Abousleiman said businesses would be forced to close it they employed people without the necessary paperwork.

US places sanctions on Hezbollah members

The US has introduced sanctions targeting three senior Hezbollah officials. In response, Lebanon's parliament speaker said the sanctions were an assault on the entire country. "It is an assault on the parliament and as a result an assault on all of Lebanon," said Nabih Berri, a Shia ally of Hezbollah. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there was no distinction between the political and military wing of Hezbollah, which the US classifies as a terrorist group.

Two killed as gunmen opened fire on minister's convoy

Two people have been killed after gunmen opened fire on the convoy of a Lebanese minister near Beirut. Saleh al-Gharib, the minister of state handling refugee issues, was travelling to the village of Qabr Shamoun when he was ambushed. "What happened was an armed ambush and a clear assassination attempt," al-Gharib told local media. He is a member of a party allied to Hezbollah and supports the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Gunman kills four security personnel in Tripoli

A gunman has shot dead four members of the security forces in Tripoli. The assailant killed two police officers and two soldiers before blowing himself up on Monday night. He has been identified as Abdul Rahman Mabsout, an individual linked to the Islamic State (IS) group. "The first night of Eid in Tripoli was very painful, but it's over now. The security forces and the army paid a heavy price to maintain security of the city... May God have mercy on our martyrs," said Interior Minister Raya Haffar.

UN calls for investigation into prisoner death

The UN has called for an investigation into the death of a prisoner in Lebanon. Hassan Dika - who was arrested in November on drug-related charges - died last week. His family claim that his body showed signs of torture, although the Internal Security Forces (ISF) said a pathologist confessed to fabricating the reports. "The tragic death of Hassan Dika highlights what appears to be a number of very serious failings in Lebanon’s legal and prison systems," said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.

Hezbollah threaten Galilee invasion

The leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah - an Islamist extremist political party - has allegedly threatened an invasion of the Galilee. According to reports, Hassan Nasrallah issued a statement on Thursday, claiming that the Hezbollah would invade the Galilee and that any Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) entering Lebanon will be "destroyed on live TV".

Indian national shot dead in Bekaa

An Indian national has been killed and three others wounded in a shooting in Bekaa. A Lebanese man carried out the attack with a Kalashnikov rifle following a dispute over noise at a factory when the victims work. The assailant later handed himself into police.

New government formed after nine month delay

A new government has been formed in Lebanon after nine months of political wrangling. "We must turn the page and start working," said Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri in a statement. The new cabinet includes four women for the first time in the country's history. The deadlock has coincided with a significant economic downturn in Lebanon, with the national debt currently estimated to be at 150 percent of GDP.

Syrian refugees hit by winter storms

Camps housing Syrian refugees in Lebanon have been badly damaged by storms in the north and eastern regions. More than 22,000 refugees have been affected by Storm Norma, which caused torrential rain and snow. Further poor weather has hit the region this week via Storm Miriam and is expected to continue through until Friday. Four people have been killed and an estimated 10,000 displaced by the conditions.

IDF targets Hezbollah tunnels

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have destroyed Hezbollah tunnels in the north of the country. Troops warned residents in the village of Ayta ash-Shab to keep away from the tunnels before they were destroyed. Earlier this month identified five other alleged Hezbollah tunnels, although the Lebanese group did not comment on the claims.

British radio host murdered near Beirut

A British radio host has been founded at his home near the capital, Beirut. Gavin Ford, who worked for Radio One since 1995, was discovered in the town of Beit Meri on Tuesday. Police said initial investigations suggested that he had been murdered, while the newspaper Annahar said he had been strangled. "We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our dear Gavin Ford," said Radio One in a statement.

Lebanon set for new unity government

The Lebanese Forces (LF) party has agreed to join a new national unity government, ending months of political deadlock. Prime Minister Saad Hariri will now be able to form a government despite the rivalry between LF and President Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement (FPM). Hariri warned that the country could not afford any further delays due to the economic problems in the country. Lebanon has the third-highest public debt in the world, while annual GDP growth has dropped from eight percent in 2010 to less than two percent.

Man killed in Lebanon shooting

A man has been killed in a shooting in the northern city of Tripoli. One person has been arrested in connection with the attack, which took place in the Abu Samra area of the city on Monday. Police said the shooting was motivated by a personal vendetta.

Street naming sparks outrage in Beirut

The decision to name a street in Beirut after a late Hezbollah commander has sparked outrage in the capital. Mustafa Badreddine is suspected of masterminding the plot to assassinate former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. Hariri's son, who is Lebanon's current prime minister, has strongly condemned the decision. "There are people who want to drag the country to another place. They must take responsibility for this before God Almighty and before the Lebanese people," said Hariri.

Two IS members detained in Beirut

The Lebanese security forces have arrested two people suspected of being members of the Islamic State (IS). The pair were detained in the southern Dahiye suburb of Beirut on Monday. According to the Information Branch the suspects have confessed to planning attacks in the capital, targeting members of the Lebanese army.

Two sentenced to death for 2015 bombings

A court in Lebanon has sentenced two people to death for their role in the twin bombing in Beirut in 2015. The attacks in the Burj al-Baranjneh district killed 43 people and wounded more than 200 others. Ibrahim Al-Jamal and the Syrian Abdol Kraim will be executed while three other people were given life sentences at the military court.

Teenage boy stabbed to death in Tripoli

A 19-year-old boy has been stabbed to death in the northern city of Tripoli. Abdel Rahman Tawfiq Hamoud was rushed to the Tripoli government hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. According to reports he was attacked by a gang of youths on Tuesday night.

Public transport drivers' strike blocks highways

A nationwide strike has been launched by public transport drivers, causing severe traffic disruption as several main highway have been blocked. The strike was organised to protest planned reforms which could lead to the privatisation vehicle inspection centres. Travellers have been advised to take caution, anticipate delays , and to avoid large demonstrations which could turn violent.

Eight killed in Brital drug bust

At least eight suspected drug criminals have been killed and six others have been wounded following an armed clash with the security forces in Brital. According to reports, the security forces launched a counter-narcotics operation targeted a suspected drug syndicate operating throughout the area. A gunfight allegedly broke out after a group of suspects initially resisted arrest. As many as 41 suspects were detained following the gun battle, while a number of small arms and light weapons were confiscated from the site, along with some narcotics.

Three killed after truck falls off bridge

Three people have been killed and one other wounded after a truck fell off the Zouk Mikael Bridge in Kesrouan. The accident occurred on Wednesday, according to the National News Agency. It is not yet clear what caused the accident.

Man shot dead at Tripoli checkpoint

A man has been shot dead at a checkpoint in the northern city of Tripoli. The Internal Security Forces opened fire when the man failed to comply with orders to stop. An investigation into the identity of the deceased is underway.

Hospital workers launch strike in Baabda

Hospital workers have held a sit-in protest near the Baabda palace. The workers were demanding a rise in wages as a cabinet session was being held at the presidential palace. There have been multiple strikes and protests by public sector workers in Lebanon in recent years due to the political instability in the country, most notably the waste crisis in 2015-16.

Hezbollah claims election victory

Hezbollah's leader has claimed victory in Lebanon's parliamentary elections. Officials results are still to be announced, however preliminary data suggests Hezbollah and the other main Shia party, Amal, have won 29 of the 128 seats. Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader, declared the outcome a "national achievement," adding the result would guarantee protection for the "resistance" against Israel. Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his Future Movement are predicted to have lost a third of their seats, but he is still expected to lead the new government.

Heightened security measures ahead of election

Heightened security measures are due to be put in place ahead of elections in Lebanon. A security plan has been announced, with plans for the deployment of 20,000 security personnel to around 7,000 polling stations across the country. The additional security measures aim to deter violent attacks targeting voters - who will go to polls on Sunday 06 May.

Army raids militant hideout in Tripoli

The Lebanese army has raided a suspected militant hideout in the northern city of Tripoli. A soldier and one of the suspects - Hajar al-Abdullah - were killed in a gunfight in the al-Tabbaneh district. Abduallh's brother, Bilal al-Abduallh, was arrested at the scene and several weapons were seized.

Dozens protest violence against women in Beirut

Dozens of people gathered outside the Lebanese parliament in Beirut on Sunday to denounce a rise in attacks against women. The feminist group Kafa organised the rally, during which they called for legislation to protect women from domestic and sexual violence. Since the start of December, at least eight women have been murdered in the country, including UK embassy employee Rebecca Dykes. "Women are dying one after the other because of inaction by the legislative, executive and judicial powers that don't consider this to be a priority issue," said a statement signed by several NGOs.

Storm dumps waste on Lebanese beaches

A powerful storm has dumped piles of rubbish along beaches north of the capital, Beirut. A huge clean-up operation is underway to deal with the waste, which has sparked anger from environmentalists and politicians. Uncollected street waste in 2015 sparked months of anti-government protests under the banner of the "You Stink" movement.

UK embassy worker found dead in Beirut

A UK embassy worker has been found dead in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. Rebecca Dykes's body was found on a motorway on the outskirts of the city on Saturday. Police said she had been sexually assaulted and strangled and a murder investigation has been launched. An Uber driver identified at Tarek H has been arrested in connection with the attack.

Security forces clash with anti-US protesters

Violent clashes erupted during a protest outside the US embassy in Lebanon on Sunday. The security forces fired tear gas and water cannons after protesters set fires and set up barricades in northern Beirut. “We came to say to the US Embassy that it is an embassy of aggression and that Jerusalem is Arab and will stay Arab,” said Ahmad Mustafa, an official from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The unrest was sparked by US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

PM Hariri withdraws resignation

Lebanon's prime minister, Saad Hariri, has withdrawn his resignation. Hariri shocked the country when he announced his resignation while on a trip to Saudi Arabia last month, citing Iran's influence over Hezbollah and fears for his safety as the key reasons behind his decision. He suspended his resignation upon his return to the country and has now formally withdrawn it after talks. "All [the government's] political components decide to dissociate themselves from all conflicts, disputes, wars or the internal affairs of brother Arab countries, in order to preserve Lebanon's economic and political relations," said the PM. 

PM suspends resignation

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has 'suspended' his resignation following talks with President Michel Aoun. The two held talks earlier today after Hariri returned to the country for the first time since announcing that he was quitting during a trip to Saudi Arabia. "Today I presented my resignation to his excellency the president, and he asked me to temporarily suspend submitting it and to put it on hold ahead of further consultations on the reasons for it," Hariri said. "I expressed my agreement to this request, in the hope that it will form a serious basis for a responsible dialogue."

Hariri returns to Lebanon after resignation

Saad Hariri has returned to Lebanon for the first time since his shock resignation as prime minister. Hariri sparked a political crisis when he announced he was quitting during a trip to Saudi Arabia, leading to President Michel Aoun and senior figures in Hezbollah accusing Riyadh of forcing Hariri to resign and interfering in Lebanese politics. Hariri and Aoun are set to meet later on Wednesday for discussions.

Lebanese army chief prepares military forces

The Lebanese army chief, General Joseph Aoun, has reportedly urged the Lebanese military to prepare themselves for the eventuality of an Israeli attack. In a speech marking the 74th anniversary of Lebanese independence, General Aoun allegedly warned of Israel's "hostile intentions against Lebanon, its people, and army" as tensions continue to rise in the area. According to reports, the general called on the Lebanese military forces to ramp up border defence security and to uphold the UN Resolution 1701 to "preserve stability".

Hariri set to travel to France from Saudi Arabia

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has accepted an invitation to travel to France from President Emmanual Macron. Hariri has remained in Saudi Arabia since announcing his resignation last week, leading to claims from both Hezbollah and Lebanese President Michel Aoun that he was being detained by the Saudi government. On Thursday Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Hariri was free to leave the country at any time.

Hariri vows to return to Lebanon

Saad Hariri has vowed to return to Lebanon "very soon" and has denied claims that he is being detained against his will in Saudi Arabia. "Here in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I am free. I have complete freedom, but I want to look after my family as well," said Hariri in a televised broadcast. Last week Hezbollah accused Saudi Arabia of forcing Hariri to resign as Lebanon's prime minister.

Hezbollah chief claims PM resignation illegal

The head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has said the Prime Minister Saad Hariri's resignation was "illegal" because it was made "under pressure" from Saudi Arabia. "All of a sudden, out of nowhere, Saudi Arabia called the prime minister on an urgent matter without his aide or advisers, and was forced to tender his resignation, and to read the resignation statement written by them," Nasrallah said in a televised statement. "Saad Hariri is our political opponent, but he is also our prime minister." Hariri has not returned to Lebanon since announcing his resignation, sparking rumours that he is under house arrest in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia advises citizens to leave Lebanon

Saudi Arabia has advised its citizens against travel to Lebanon and urged Saudis already in the country to leave. "Due to the situations in the Republic of Lebanon, the official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the Saudi nationals visiting or residing in Lebanon are asked to leave the country as soon as possible," read the statement issued via the SPA news agency. The warning comes amid an increasing diplomatic row between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which escalated when Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation while on a trip to Riyadh, citing Iran's collusion with Hezbollah and fears over his safety.

Prime Minister Hariri resigns over safety fears

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has resigned, citing interference by Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah as his reason for quitting. Hariri said Iran had "built a state within a state," and fomented "disorder and destruction" in the country, adding that he feared for his life. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has responded by claiming Saudi Arabia was behind Hariri's decision. "The way in which it was delivered makes it clear that Saudi Arabia meddles in Lebanon's internal affairs... The tone was not at all suitable. We need to discuss the Saudi element," said Nasrallah.

Three killed in Beirut shooting

Three people have been killed in a shooting in the Zoqaq al-Blat neighbourhood of Beirut. According to reports, two teenagers shot their father before going on to the streets and opening fire on local residents. A neighbour died and his wife was seriously injured when they were shot by one of the suspects, identified as 14-year-old Ali Younes. An unidentified Syrian national was also shot and killed during the incident. The two brothers were later arrested in connection to the attack.

Israel launch airstrikes after shooting down drone in Golan

Israel has carried out airstrikes near the Lebanon-Syria border after shooting down a drone in the Golan Heights. Israeli officials said the drone was Iranian-made and operated by the Lebanese group Hezbollah. It was intercepted by a Patriot missile defence system on Tuesday before jets targeted the al-Rashaha area near the town of Shebaa.

Attempted self-immolation in north Lebanon

A man has attempted to self-immolate at a police checkpoint in northern Lebanon. Officers had stopped and impounded his vehicle for traffic violations when the man poured diesel over his body and attempted to set himself on fire. There have been several cases of self-immolation in the country, often by citizens protesting against economic and social conditions.

Five killed in clashes at Ain al-Hilweh camp

Five people have been killed and 35 others wounded in the latest clashes at the Ain al-Hiliweh refugee camp. Tensions between rival members of Fatah and the Bilal Badr group erupted last Thursday when Badr gunmen opened fire on the security headquarters at the camp. On Wednesday two Fatah fighters were shot dead and three others wounded when fighting escalated outside the camp. In April another outbreak of violence left seven people dead.

Army clashes with IS in Ras Baalbek

The Lebanese security forces launched an offensive against the Islamic State (IS) in Ras Baalbek on Saturday. Around 600 militants are estimated to be holding territory in the mountainous region, close to the border with Syria. On Sunday an army vehicle hit a landmine in Jurud Arsal, killing three soldiers and seriously wounded another. The army also destroyed a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) before it could be used to target troops.

Military prepares for border operations against IS

The Lebanese army is preparing to launch operations against the Islamic State (IS) militant group near the Syrian border. “The Lebanese Army is already inside the area previously controlled by Saraya Ahl al-Sham militants and had started a sweeping operation to clean it from cluster bombs and explosives,” said on Tuesday. “The announcement of the start of the military operation is now very near.” A six-day offensive was launched in July against the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS) militant group near the northern town of Arsal, which resulted in a deal for JFS rebels to leave Lebanon for Syria. On Monday thousands of militants and refugees were transported on buses to the Syrian border.

Four IS suspects arrested in Lebanon

Three Syrians and a Lebanese national have been arrested on allegations that they members of the Islamic State (IS). The Lebanese Security Forces carried out the arrests in the Wadi Khaled region in northern Lebanon. The four are accused of assisting militants travelling between Syria and Lebanon, while investigations are underway to detain other members of the cell.

Security increased at Christian town of al-Qaa

Security forces have been deployed to the Christian town of al-Qaa over reports that gunmen had travelled to the area. Suicide bombers linked to the Islamic State (IS) carried out attacks in the town in June, killing several people and wounding dozens more. The army has also increased security in Ras Baalbek and set up additional military checkpoints in the region.

Anti-Israel protests held across Middle East

Anti-Israel protests have been held in several cities across the Middle East over the security measures introduced at holy sites in Jerusalem's Old City.  More than 8,000 people gathered in Jordan's capital, Amman, on Friday, while other rallies were held in Beirut, Lebanon and Istanbul, Turkey. "With our soul, with our blood, we will sacrifice ourselves for you, Al-Aqsa,” the crowd in Amman chanted. Two Palestinians died on Friday during violent clashes with the Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Refugee camp destroyed by fire

A Syrian refugee camp has been destroyed by a fire in eastern Lebanon.  At least one person died in a blaze at the site near Qab Elias in the Bekaa Valley.  The UNHCR said the cause of the blaze had not been confirmed but was likely started by a cooking stove.  More than 700 refugees were evacuated due to the blaze.

Refugee camp hit by suicide attacks

Five suicide bombers have attacked a refugee camp near the Syrian border. A grenade was also thrown during the incident, which left seven soldiers wounded.  The Lebanese army said four other explosive devices were discovered at the camp near Arsal. "The army immediately detonated these devices in the places they were planted," the statement said. 

Protesters clash with troops in Beirut

At least seven people were wounded in clashes between protesters and Lebanese security forces in Beirut on Friday.  Dozens of people had gathered outside the parliamentary building to protest against a new electoral law.  “We were treated with unprecedented brutality just for trying to defend our basic rights,” said Lucien Bourjeily, one of the protest organisers.

Security forces foil IS attack in Beirut

Lebanon's security forces have foiled an attempted attack by the Islamic State (IS) in Beirut, according to the interior minister, Nouhad al-Mashnouq. "A successful preemptive operation has thwarted a bombing that terrorists were preparing for Beirut's southern suburbs,” Mashnouq said.  The operation was carried out by the Internal Security Forces, during which three people were arrested.

Protests sparked by Lebanon's rape law

A controversial law allowing rapists who marry their victims to go free has sparked protests in Beirut.  Activists hung 31 wedding dresses in the capital, Beirut, on Saturday over the decision to scrap Article 522 of the penal code.  "There are 31 days in a month and every single day, a woman may be raped and forced to marry her rapist," said Alia Awada, advocacy manager at Lebanese non-government organisation ABAAD.

Army arrests 10 Syrian militants near border

The Lebanese army arrested 10 suspected Syrian militants near the border on Saturday.  A security source told Reuters that a local Islamic State (IS) leader was also killed in the operation. “An army unit carried out a swift raid at dawn today in Arsal, resulting in the arrest of 10 dangerous terrorists who had previously infiltrated it,” the military statement said.

Clashes continue at Ain al-Hilweh

Clashes have continued between Fatah members and Islamist militants at the Ain al-Hilweh camp in Lebanon.  The fighting restarted on Wednesday, a day after a peace agreement was announced during which the Bilal Badr militant group agreed to leave the Al-Tireh area of the camp.  At least seven people have been killed at the camp since the unrest began last week.

Protesters rally outside Baabda Palace

Hundreds of activists rallied outside the Baabda Palace in Lebanon's capital, Beirut, on Monday.  Activists from the Parliament For Everybody Monday gathered as a cabinet session discussed the country's new electoral law.  "We are here to remind them [ministers] that their primary objective was to agree on a new electoral law," an activist told local media. "They have done just about everything but that."

Deadly clashes at Palestinian camp

Five people have been killed and 30 others wounded in three days of clashes at a camp for Palestinian refugees in southern Lebanon.  Fighting erupted at the Ain al-Hilweh camp on Friday between rival Palestinian factions and continued throughout the weekend.  According to reports, members of a joint security force were attacked by hard-line Sunni Islamists, known as the Badr group.

Syrian wounded in Arsal camp shooting

A Syrian national has been wounded in a shooting at a refugee camp in the northern town of Arsal in Baalbek district.  Masked militants carried out the attack on Wednesday and the victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment.  Meanwhile, the Lebanese security forces have arrested a Syrian national suspected of being a member of Islamic State (IS) during operations near Arsal.

Hundreds protest against tax hikes

Hundreds of people gathered outside of the government palace in Beirut on Sunday to protest against proposed tax increases.  An estimated 2,000 people gathered in Riad al-Solh square and threw empty water bottles at Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, who was making a speech.  The government is seeking to raise taxes to pay for increased wages for public sector employees.

Female student kidnapped in Kabiit

A female student was kidnapped by unknown assailants in Kabiit on Thursday.  The girl was waiting for a taxi outside her family home when she was abducted. Police have launched an investigation.

Gunmen raid bank in Hazmiyeh

Gunmen have raided a branch of Bank Audi in the town of Hazmiyeh on the outskirts of Beirut.  The three assailants made off with around $20k during the heist, the latest in a series of attacks against banks in and around the capital.  Security agencies are analysing video footage of the incident.

Security forces raid money transfer shops in Beirut

Lebanese security forces have raided a series of money transfer shops in the capital, Beirut.  Two Syrian nationals were arrested at the Augarit Exchange and Money Transfer on Hamra street, while shops were also raided in the Al-Tariq, al-Jadideh and Rehab areas of the city.  The shops were targeted over allegations that they were used to transfer around $20m to Islamic State (IS) militants in neighbouring Syria.

Deadly clashes continue at refugee camp

One person has been killed and four others wounded in renewed clashes at a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon.  A medical source said supporters of Fatah clashed with hardline Islamist group at the Ain al-Hilwe for the sixth day.  A loudspeaker on a mosque implored the warring sides to stop shooting to avoid civilian casualties, while the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said it had suspended all services in the camp because of the violence.

Fighting erupts at Palestinian refugee camp

Fighting has erupted at a refugee camp in southern Lebanon.  According to reports rival Palestinian factions clashed at the Ein el-Hilweh camp near Sidon on Sunday, leaving several people wounded.  Senior Fatah officials claim "external agenda parties" were responsible for the rising tensions in the camp.

Protesters storm al-Jadeed TV headquarters

Protesters attempted to storm the headquarters of the al-Jadeed television channel on Tuesday night.  Around 300 people threw rocks and fireworks at the building in Beirut over a comedy sketch about Shia cleric Imam Musa al-Sadr, who has been missing since 1978 and is presumed dead.  A police officer was wounded during the clashes and several windows were smashed.  "The resort to violence in response to what they believe was an insult against them is rejected by the law," Lebanon's Press Club said in a statement.

Police bust kidnapping ring in north Lebanon

Lebanese police have busted a kidnapping and extortion ring in the north of the country.  Three Bangladeshis and two Lebanese nationals were arrested during raids by the Internal Security Forces last week.  The suspects allegedly abducted a 35-year-old Bangladeshi man in January and released him for an $8k ransom after three days.

IS leader killed in Arsal

An Islamic State (IS) emir has been killed in a bombing in the south-eastern town of Arsal.  Ahmed Wahid al-Abed, a Syrian national, died when the device exploded next to his car on Monday evening on the outskirts of the town. Militants from IS and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front, frequently clash along the Syrian-Lebanese border.

Arrest made in connection to foiled suicide attack

A man has been arrested in connection to a foiled attack in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.  The suspect, identified as Radwan S, was detained in the southern city of Sidon on Thursday.  Omar Hasan Assi, 25, was arrested in the capital on Saturday, minutes before he planned to carry out a suicide bomb attack in the city.  The suspects have been linked to radical preacher Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir.

Birds pose danger to flights in Beirut

Lebanon's transport minister has warned that birds could pose a significant danger to flights in and out of Beirut airport.  Yusef Fenianos said the Costa Brava dump, which was created during last year's rubbish crisis, is attracting increasing numbers of birds.  On Tuesday a Middle East Airlines flights encountered a large flock of birds at the city's west runway.  "Today we face an emergency... we recognise that there is a danger posed to civil aviation movement by the birds," Mr Fenianos said in a statement, adding: "Thank God, up until now, the flights have not encountered any real danger."

Lebanese man shot dead near Arsal

A Lebanese man has been found dead near the northern border town of Arsal.  The state-run National News agency said the 37-year-old man, Ismail H, was discovered with gunshot wounds in the Wadi Hmeid region.  His body was transferred to the al-Rahma field hospital, while forensics teams have been dispatched to help with the investigation into his murder.

Public drivers hold strike in Lebanon

Public drivers staged a nationwide strike on Thursday in protest at the proposed privatisation of the country's auto inspection centres.  The strike, led by the Unions and Leagues of Land Transportation, caused widespread chaos in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.  Security forces were deployed across the city to setup diversions and maintain order, while union leader Bassam Tlais apologised to people affected by the action.  "Our protests are not against you, but merely to protect your rights," Tlais said.

Army deployed in northern Lebanon after shooting

The Lebanese army has deployed heavily armed units in the north of the country in response to a deadly attack on a checkpoint.  A soldier was killed and another wounded in the overnight raid on the post near Bqaa Sifrin town in Dinnieh.  Military helicopters assisted troops on the ground in Dinnieh and Akkar during the operation, which has so far led to seven arrests.

Police officer shot dead in Beirut

A police officer was shot dead in southern Beirut in the early hours of Thursday morning.  The officer was shot at point-blank range at a checkpoint in Choueifat around dawn.  The Internal Security Forces (ISF) said an operation is underway to locate the assailants.

Transport union announces strike action

Lebanon’s Unions of Land Transportation has announced a new general strike across the country.  "Escalation is ongoing. We will hold a general strike on Dec. 8 to press our demands," the unions said in a statement on Tuesday.  Last week protesters shut down the Cars Registration Authority in Lebanon's Metn district during a protest against the privatization of automotive inspection centres.

Security forces arrest 10 Islamic State (IS) militants

Lebanese security forces have arrested 11 suspected Islamic State (IS) jihadists near the Syrian border.  Among the detainees was Ahmad Yousif Amoun, the so-called "emir of Islamic State in Lebanon".  Amoun was seriously wounded during the operation, while his driver was killed.  Ammoun was "involved in attacking military posts in August 2014 and the killing of citizens, soldiers and policemen on charges of communicating with [Lebanese] security forces," said the army in a statement.

Gunmen raid bank in Beirut

Four armed men have carried out a bank robbery in a southern district of Beirut.  The gunmen raided the Banque Libano-Francaise branch in the Mreijeh area at around 09:00 this morning.  They made off with around $147k and police have launched an operation to catch them.

Car rammed into two police officers in southern Lebanon

Two police officers have been wounded after a car was rammed into their security checkpoint in southern Lebanon.  The National News Agency said the driver lost control of his vehicle in Nabatieh and the incident was not terrorism related.  The officers were translated to the Nabih Berri Public Hospital for treatment.

Michel Aoun elected president of Lebanon

Michel Aoun has been elected as president of Lebanon, ending a two-year political stalemate in the country.  Aoun, an 81-year-old Maronite Christian, was elected with the support of 83 out of 128 MPs.  Lebanon had been without a president for 29 months after Michel Suleiman resigned in May, 2014.  Prior to the vote a deal was reached with the Sunni-dominated Future Movement that will see its leader, Saad Hariri, become prime minister.

Israeli soldier wounded by gunfire from inside Lebanon

On 26 October, a soldier from the Israel Defence Force (IDF) was shot and lightly wounded near Metula by cross-border firing from Lebanon. An initial investigation by the IDF concluded that a passing vehicle on the Lebanese side of the border opened fire on an IDF patrol near the Reches Ramim area on the border fence. The soldiers returned fire, hitting the vehicle. The wounded soldier was evacuated to hospital for further treatment. Local farmers were instructed to vacate their fields near the border fence. 

Four people charged with terror links

On 20 October, a Lebanese Military Investigative Judge charged four men with having links to terrorism. Official sources state that the men all had connections to the Islamic State (IS),

Lebanese army targets militant positions along northeastern border

On 20 October, the Lebanese Army targeted militant positions along the northeastern border. Militant hideouts along the border with Syria were targeted by the troops.

Two killed in fire at shop in southern Lebanon

On 20 October, two laborers were found dead after a fire swept through a paint shop in the industrial zone in Sidon, southern Lebanon. Authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze.

Islamic State commander charged with terror links

On 17 October, a Lebanese Military Prosecutor Judge charged an Islamic State commander and 17 other militants with having links to the Islamic State (IS) terror group and for planning to carry out terrorist attacks across the country.

Militants kill soldier in Arsal

On 17 October, the Lebanese army directorate stated that a Lebanese soldier, Sergeant-Major Khaled Ezzedine, was killed in an overnight attack. Two unidentified attackers in masks reportedly opened fire on Ezzedine near his home in Arsal. An investigation has been launched to track down and apprehend the attackers. 

Seven arrested following dispute in Koura

On 11 October, the Lebanese Army Intelligence Bureau in Koura arrested seven men in Dahr Al-Ain, following a dispute between several of the suspects. Reports state that the men attacked another individual and attempted to abduct him over financial disagreements. They were found to have hand grenades and several firearms on them at the time of their arrests. 

United Nations office in Tripoli shut down by protesters

On 12 October, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) office in Tripoli was shut down by protesters from the Beddawi refugee camp. UN staff were prevented from entering the premises by protesters who blamed the UNRWA for the continued reduction in medical and educational services and for allegedly not listening to the demands of refugees.

Farmers stage protest in Beirut

On 10 October, dozens of farmers from Arsal, northeast Lebanon, staged a sit-in protest outside the Prime Minister's headquarters, the Grand Serail, in downtown Beirut. They were demanding financial compensation over their inability to harvest their fields due to the security situation on the border. 

Dozens stage protest in Beirut

On 5 October, dozens of people staged a sit-in protest outside the Ministry of Labour in Beirut, protesting against riding youth unemployment rates. 

Seven arrested over suspected terror links in Sidon

On 5 October, Lebanese General Security agents arrested seven Syrian suspects in the Sidon area of Ain Deleb, south Lebanon. The suspects are accused of having links to terrorist groups in Syria and for residing illegally in Lebanon. 

Four charged over suspected terror links

On 30 September, a Lebanese Military Investigative judge charged four individuals with belonging to an extremist group and for preparing to commit terrorist attacks across the country. 

Five charged over suspected terror ties

On 29 September, five individuals were charged with being linked to terrorist organisations. 

Presidential elections postponed to 31 October

On 28 September, the 45th session to elect a Lebanese president ended when Speaker of the House Nabih Berri adjourned the session until 31 October due to a lack of majority agreement. 

Fatah Al Islam commander surrenders to Lebanese Army in South Lebanon refugee camp

On 28 September, a senior commander of the Fatah Al Islam militant group surrendered to the Lebanese Army at the entrance of the Ain El-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp, near Sidon. His surrender follows the arrest of an Islamic State (IS) official in the camp earlier in the week. 

Twenty-three charged over alleged terror links

On 23 September, official state media reported that more than 23 people, including a number of Syrian nationals, have been charged by the Lebanese Military Investigative judiciary over their alleged links to terror groups.

Four wounded in grenade explosion in Arsal refugee camp

On 16 September, a hand grenade wounded four people at the Al-Nour Syrian refugee camp in Wadi Hmayed district, Arsal. The explosion is believed to be related to personal disputes among refugees. 

Thirty Palestinian men arrested over armed clash in Tripoli

On 15 September, Lebanese state media reported that 30 Palestinian men had been arrested by the Lebanese Armed Forces over their suspected involvement in an armed clash in Tripoli the previous day.

Medical director kidnapped by unknown man in Baalbek

A medical director of a major hospital in Baalbek, eastern Lebanon, was kidnapped in the outskirts of the town. The abduction of Dr. Saleh al-Shall generated a wave of protests to demand his immediate release. According to local witnesses, a group of several vehicles were taking the doctor though a road near the neighbouring town of Brital. No further information were disclosed as protesters blame the local government over the security situation in the region.

One killed and several injured in bomb attack in Bekaa Valley

The Lebanese Red Cross stated that one person was killed and 11 others were injured during a road attack in Bekaa Valley, eastern Lebanon. The explosion took place at a roundabout near Zahle. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, and the authorities have not revealed any further details. Lebanon has been highly affected by the conflicts in Iraq and Syria. In late June, a quadruple suicide bomb attack led to the deaths of five people in the largely Christian village of Qaa.

Sixty migrants arrested during raids in Beqa'a

The Ministry of Defence announced that a raid on 22 August by the Lebanese Armed Forces resulted in the arrests of approximately 60 migrants living in the Shaath and Rasm Al-Hadath camps in Beqa'a. The migrants were arrested after failing to produce legitimate or adequate documentation. The raid was part of an increase in security measures aimed at responding to the current influx of Islamic State militants and those from other militants groups.

Protesters erect Lebanese flag in disputed area of Shebaa Farms

A group of Lebanese protesters invaded the contested region of the Shebaa Farms to erect a Lebanese flag. The protesters, including Lebanese MP Qasseem Hashem, claimed that the construction of roads in the area by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is a violation of Lebanon's sovereignty. The claim is also supported by the militant group Hezbollah, which issued a statement condemning the IDF offensives in the region. On Thursday, Army chief Major General Jean Kahwagi said that "The military will confront Israeli aggression targeting Lebanon with all the available capabilities". The dispute over the Shebaa Farms comes from the agreement set in 2000, when Israeli forces withdrew from Lebanese territory after 22 years of occupation.

Ten Syrians detained in Nabatiyeh over terrorism links

The Lebanese National News Agency (NNA) reported on Monday that 10 Syrian nationals had been arrested over links to terrorism in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon. The report confirms that four of those detained were found with documents confirming their affiliation to foreign terrorist groups. The Lebanese government has been waging efforts to maintain the country's stability amid the ongoing conflicts in neighbouring Syria. Recently, government offensives led to the dismantling of five terrorist networks suspected of planning bomb attacks in Beirut and other eastern cities. Early this month, several Islamic State (IS) mortar attacks hit multiple army posts in Ras Baalbek, near Arsal.

Heavy fighting erupts after IS mortar attack near Arsal

The state-run National News Agency announced on Tuesday that the Lebanese army engaged in a fierce gun battle with Islamic State (IS) militants near the Syrian border. The reports show that army posts in Ras Baalbek near Arsal were hit by several mortar attacks from IS fighters stationed in the region. The attack triggered heavy clashes, although no information over the number of casualties was disclosed.

Suicide bomb kills five in Lebanese village

At least five people have been killed and 13 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack in a village in eastern Lebanon.  Four assailants blew themselves up in the largely Christian village of Qaa in the Bekaa valley, close to the Syrian border.  No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Hezbollah TV station Al-Manar blamed it on the Islamic State (IS).

Bomb explodes outside Blom Bank in Beirut

A bomb has exploded outside the headquarters of the Blom Bank in the capital, Beirut, causing damage to the building and lightly wounding two people.  The blast struck in the Verdun area of the city late on Sunday as people made their way home to break the Ramadan fast. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, although Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk told the Reuters news agency that it was "clear" that Blom was the target of the attack.

Five militants killed in border clashes

Five suspected militants were killed in clashes between rival groups near the Syrian border on Wednesday.  Local media reported fighting between the Qadasiyah Brigade - linked to the Nusra Front - and the Ahrar al-Sham group in the Sabna area.  Two fighters from Qadasiyah and three from Ahrar al-Shad died in the clashes, which lasted for several hours.

Two terrorist suspects arrested in Arsal

Two alleged terrorists have been arrested in Arsal, north-eastern Lebanon. According to army sources the pair are suspected of carrying out attacks against Lebanese security forces stationed near the Syrian border and supplying arms to local Jihadists. The al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front and the Islamic State (IS) group are both known to have a presence in the area and since August 2014, around 35 security personnel have been kidnapped in the region.

Top Hezbollah leader killed in Damascus

Mustafa Amine Badreddine, a top Hezbollah Commander, has been killed in Damascus. According to the group's media channel, several others were also wounded by the blast near Damascus International Airport, the causes of which are under investigation. Badreddine was one of the main suspects of the bomb attack that killed former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri and 22 others in 2005. He also was a significant figure in the support of the Assad regime and the involvement of Hezbollah in the Syrian civil war.

Army detonates grenade in Beirut

The Lebanese army has detonated a hand grenade in the capital, Beirut.  A bomb disposal expert carried out a controlled explosion in the Sin al-Fil suburb on Tuesday.  Army sources told the Daily Star newspaper that the device was old and not linked to the conflict in neighbouring Syria or the recent municipal elections.

Lebanese army kill senior IS commander

A senior Islamic State (IS) commander has been killed during operations by the Lebanese army near the border town of Arsal.  Nayef Shaalan, alias Abou Fouz, was killed during a raid in the Wadi al-Hosn area, close to border crossing with Syria.  The military also destroyed Shaalan's local headquarters, which he used to orchestrate jihadist activity in Arsal.  Three soldiers were also wounded in the clashes.

Lebanese man arrested over terrorism links

Lebanese authorities arrested a man on suspicion of terrorism links on Tuesday. According to the General Security Directorate, the man is a known arms smuggler and has been supplying weapons and explosives to extremist groups in Syria. The man confessed to the charges and admitted that five other Lebanese nationals helped him.

Four shepherds kidnapped on Syrian border

Three Syrian shepherds and a Lebanese have been kidnapped by unknown gunmen along the Lebanese-Syrian border.  The Lebanese national was later released, while the fate of the three Syrians from Mount Hermon is unknown.  The incident comes just days after the Lebanese army said Israeli soldiers tried to kidnap a shepherd near the village of Shebaa.

Palestinian official killed in Sidon blast

A Palestinian official has been killed in a bomb attack in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon. Fathi Zaydan, a Fatah official responsible for the Palestinian camp of Mieh Mieh, was leaving a meeting when the device exploded on Tuesday. Officials said it had been planted under his vehicle, although no group has taken responsibility for the attack.

Australian TV crew detained over alleged kidnap

An Australian TV crew have been detained in Lebanon in connection with an attempted child abduction.  Four members of the Network Nine crew have been held along with Sally Faulkner, who was trying to snatch her four children from her ex-husband, Lebanese national Ali el-Amien.  Lebanese Interior Minister Nuhad Mashnuq told journalists: "It seems that the crew is involved in the kidnapping."

Kidnap gang leader killed in Bekaa Valley

The leader of a major kidnapping ring has been killed in a failed abduction in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.  The Daily Star in Beirut reported that Mohammad Fayyad Ismail was killed in an armed clash with one his group's captives on Tuesday night.  Ismail, who was only released from prison in February, was linked to dozens of high-profile kidnappings in Lebanon, including the case of Liban Lait CEO Ahmad Zeidan in 2011.

Nine killed in gunfight near Syrian border

Nine people were killed during clashes between the Lebanese army and an extremist group on Thursday.  One soldier and eight insurgents from an unknown militant group died in the confrontation in Ras Baalbek, near the Syrian border. In the same region the Lebanese army has been fighting insurgents such the Islamic State and Nusra Front since the war in Syria broke out in 2011.

Deadly rival clashes at Syrian border

At least 13 people have been killed in clashes between rival Islamic militant groups near the Syrian border. The clashes erupted when Nusra Front fighters carried out an attack on the Islamic State (IS) group nearly the town of Arsal. In response to the fighting, the Lebanese army has shelled militant positions in Qalamoun mountains.

Former Kuwaiti colonel kidnapped in Lebanon

A former Kuwaiti colonel has been kidnapped in the Bekaa Valley in northern Lebanon. Mohsen Barrak Al Ajmi was seized by gunmen from his house in the town of Qebb Elias over the weekend. The Lebanese security forces have carried out a series of raids in the area in an attempt to locate the victim.

Hezbollah targets Israeli border patrol

Hezbollah fighters carried out a targeted attack on two Israeli military vehicles at the Lebanese border on Monday. “A group in the Islamic Resistance detonated a large explosive device on the Zibdin-Kafwa road in the occupied Lebanese Shebaa Farms, targeting an armored Israeli patrol,” Hezbollah said in a statement. The group said they had carried out the attack in response to the killing of Samir Kantar, a Hezbollah member who died in a suspected Israeli airstrike in Syria last month.

Lebanese army kills four IS militants at border

The Lebanese army says it has killed four militants from the Islamic State (IS), including a senior commander, near the north-eastern border with Syria.  In a statement the army said it fired a guided missile at a militant convoy near Ras Baalbek on Tuesday.  Hezbollah also reported that the head of an IS Shariah court in Qalamoun was killed by a roadside bomb planted by soldiers.

Gaddafi's son released after kidnapping

Hannibal Gaddafi, son of late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has been released after being briefly kidnapped in Lebanon.  A group of armed Shia men seized Gaddafi from the the north-eastern city of Baalbek.  Before he was released he appeared in a video appealing for more information on the Lebanese Shia cleric Musa al-Sadr, who went missing in Libya in 1978.

Nusra Front clash with Hezbollah near Arsal

At least nine Nusra Front militants have been killed in clashes with Hezbollah fighters near the north-eastern border town of Arsal.  Lebanon's national news agency reported that Abous Firas al-Jebbeh, a senior Nusra commander, was among the dead.  Fighting is reported to be ongoing in the Wadi al-Kheil suburb on Wednesday afternoon.

Three killed in security raids in northern Lebanon

A suspected militant and two members of his family were killed in a security operation in northern Lebanon on Saturday. The suspect, Mohammed Hamzeh, is reported to have blown himself up during the raid in the town of Deir Ammar, north-east of Tripoli.  It was the latest in a series of raids since two suicide bombers killed 44 people in the capital, Beirut, last month.

Lebanese army conducts prisoner swap with Nusra Front

The Lebanese army has carried out a prisoner swap with the Syrian rebel group, the Nusra Front.  Sixteen Lebanese security officers have been release in exchange for 13 prisoners, including five women.  One of the prisoners is reported to be Saja al-Dulaimi, the ex-wife of Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.  The Lebanese security officers had been captured by the Nusra Front in the northern town of Arsal in August, 2014.

Lebanese security forces make arrests after Beirut bombings

Lebanese security forces have carried out a series of arrests in response to last week's twin suicide bomb attack in Beirut, which killed 44 people and wounded more than 200 others.  Operations were carried out in the capital and the northern city of Tripoli to dismantle "networks that were planning to carry out a series of similar operations (to those in Beirut), in more than one location," a security source told Reuters.  To date a total of 16 people have been arrested in connection with the 12 November attacks, which occurred in the Shia-majority Borj Al Brajne district.

Twin suicide bomb attack kills 43 in southern Beirut

At least 43 people have been killed and more than 100 others wounded in a twin suicide bomb attack in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.  The blasts were reported in the Ain el Sikkeh area in the south of the capital on Thursday afternoon.  Security officials have shutdown the area and are urging local residents to stay away while they investigate the scene.  The bombing is the first attack in southern Beirut since a suicide car bomb killed a security officer in June, 2014.  The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility for the bombings.

Bomb kills five in border town of Arsal

At least five people have been killed and 15 others wounded in a bomb attack in the northern border town of Arsal.  The blast appeared to target the Qalamoun Muslim Scholars Committee, which is involved in negotiations between the Lebanese security forces and the Nusra Front militant group.  The device exploded outside the group's office and killed their leader, Sheikh Othman Mansour.

Eight dead in nightclub shootout

Two Lebanese soldiers and six other people have been killed during a shootout at a nightclub north of the capital, Beirut.  The security forces raided the building in search of two fugitives wanted on drug trafficking charges in the Maameltein area. “The patrolling officers returned fire and clashes broke out, resulting in the deaths of Zeaiter and Ahmad Ali Ammar, and four civilians who were also with them,” the army said.

'You Stink' protests resume in Beirut

Hundreds of people broke through police barriers near parliament on Sunday as part of the latest 'You Stink' protest.  Earlier thousands marched peacefully through the streets to renew their demands that government officials end the rubbish crisis and that political leaders call parliamentary elections. The country's parliament has been unable to elect a president for more than a year, causing a breakdown in public services.

Soldier wounded, gunman dead in shootout during arrest

A soldier was seriously wounded and a wanted man was killed in a heavy exchange of fire in the area of al-Zaaytrieh of Fanar town, North Metn. The soldier was wounded when an army patrol came under fire by armed men, who are wanted by the authorities. The troops responded to the fire, injuring one of the gunmen. Ali Saad Zoaiter was taken to hospital, but later died of his injuries. The soldiers seized guns, ammunition and drugs from the gunmen's vehicle, but the gunmen themselves managed to escape. The army is currently pursuing the suspects.

Lebanese man wounded in North Bekaa ambush

A Lebanese man was injured late Monday night when unknown gunmen opened fire on a vehicle transporting three people, including a General Security officer in North Bekaa. Fadi Wakim was wounded when the gunmen intercepted the vehicle on the main road of Baalbek-Maqneh as they were heading to Ras Baalbek. A man identified as Tony Francis and General Security officer Samir Nasrallah were in the car with Wakim when the shooting occurred. When the men were late to arrive at their destination, their relatives came to search for them. At that point, the gunmen reportedly stole their vehicle. 

Two dead and hundreds hospitalised as sand storm blasts Middle East

An unseasonable sand storm has hit Lebanon and Syria, sending hundreds to hospital with respiratory difficulties and causing the deaths of two women. The Lebanese Health Ministry said 750 people suffered breathing problems across the country, and that two women died because of the sand storm, without providing details. Two boats set adrift were rescued by the coast guard, and airport officials have reported some flight delays. Also, the reduced visibility has caused the Syrian government to call of air strikes against rebel fighters in a central province.

Police eject protesters from Ministry of Environment

Lebanese police have forcibly removed around 30 protesters from the Ministry of Environment in Beirut after they stormed the building and started a sit-in.  At least two of the demonstrators were wounded in the unrest, which was the latest outbreak of anger over the political crisis in the country.  The activists demanded the resignation of Environment Minister Mohammed Machnouk and called on the government to hold snap elections.

Three killed in Palestinian refugee camp

At least three people have been killed in clashes between rival armed groups in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp near Sidon. Fighting between the Jund al-Sham group and members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement began in the northern part of the camp on Monday and quickly spread. Sources have reported that the three killed were on Fatah's side. Several others were wounded and brought to hospitals in Sidon. It is unclear what started the clashes, and each side has blamed the other. 

Violence erupts during Beirut rubbish protest

Hundreds of people have been wounded in clashes between police and protesters in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.  Thousands of people joined the demonstration, sparked by the failure of the government to collect rubbish across the city. The anti-government rally, organised by the "You Stink" campaign, was held in the Riad al-Solh Square near the parliament building on Saturday.

Three hurt as grenade hurled at Jabal Mohsen cafe

Three people were injured Thursday evening when a hand grenade was hurled at a cafe in the Tripoli neighbourhood of Jabal Mohsen. Security forces arrived on the scene immediately and began an investigation. The wounded have been identified as Salah al-Raffah and a man and his son from the al-Zayni family.

Gunmen shoot Jund al-Sham member in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp

Unidentified gunmen have shot and seriously wounded a member of Jund al-Sham, a militant Islamist Palestinian group, in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp near the city of Sidon. 

Potential conflict in Sidon refugee camp

Rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Jund al-Sham may be about to engage in a fresh confrontation in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Sidon. This follows the blockage of the northwest entrance to the camp by the Fatah group.

Two killed at Palestinian refugee camp

Two people have been killed in clashes between armed groups at a Palestinian refugee camp near the southern port city of Sidon.  Tuesday's violence at the Ain al-Hilweh camp involved a firefight between members of the Islamist group Jund al-Sham and the Fatah political organisation.  The incident occurred three days after another Fatah official was shot dead in the camp.

Five Czech nationals feared kidnapped in Lebanon

The Czech foreign ministry says five of its citizens and their Lebanese driver are missing and feared kidnapped in Lebanon.  Police found their car near an army checkpoint in the town of Kefraya in the Bekaa Valley on Friday.  According to Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova a huge security operation is underway in the region to find the six.

Hezbollah seize hilltop positions along Syrian border

Hezbollah militants have seized at least 15 hilltop positions near the north-eastern border with Syria.  Fighters killed at least 11 Syrian rebels during fighting around the town of Arsal on Wednesday. Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah last month vowed to oust jihadi militants from Arsal's outskirts if the Lebanese Army failed to take action.

Two soldiers wounded in Baalbek attack

Two soldiers have been wounded after gunmen attacked an army post in the eastern city of Baalbek. "The attack compelled the army unit to respond to the sources of fire and stage patrols in search of gunmen,” said the military in a statement.  Meanwhile six people were arrested in raid in north and east Lebanon on Tuesday morning.

Hezbollah fighters target Syrian rebels along border

Hezbollah fighters have killed at least 15 Nusra Front militants during clashes near the border in eastern Lebanon.  A security source said Hezbollah fighters also destroyed six vehicles near Tfeil in the Beqaa Valley, while clashes have also been reported around al-Hosn.

Israeli fires shells into southern Lebanon after deadly rocket strike

Israel's military has fired dozens of shells into southern Lebanon in response to an earlier rocket attack by Hezbollah militants.  Two Israeli soldiers died and seven others were wounded in the first strike on Wednesday morning, while a Spanish UN peacekeeper was killed by the Israeli shelling.  The UN has urged "maximum restraint" from all sides to avoid further escalation.

Five Lebanese soldiers killed in border clashes

Five Lebanese soldiers have been killed during clashes with militants near the Syrian border over the weekend.  In a statement the army said that a large number of gunmen had also died in the fighting at an outpost in Ras Baalbek, along the eastern border. "(The army) tightened its control this afternoon of the hill, expelling the terrorist elements ... (and killing) a large number. The fighting killed and wounded a number of soldiers," it said.

Israel air strike targets Hezbollah in Golan Heights

Six members of Hezbollah have been killed in an Israeli air strike in the Golan Heights.  An army helicopter fired missiles at a convoy of Hezbollah fighters in Quneitra on Sunday.  Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of deceased senior commander Imad Mughniyeh, was among the victims of the strike.  The group has promised to avenge the attack.

Seven killed in Tripoli suicide bombing

At least seven people have been killed and 30 others wounded in a suicide bombing in the northern city of Tripoli.  The blast occurred at cafe in a largely Alawite area of the city on Saturday.  The Nusra Front have claimed responsibility for the attack, which is the first significant attack to be reported in Lebanon for months.

Lebanese soldiers captured by Syrian rebels

Three Lebanese soldiers have been captured by suspected Syrian rebels near the two countries shared border.  The troops were kidnapped in the town Brital in the Bekaa Valley, which borders Syria, after gunmen targeted an army checkpoint.  Meanwhile the Lebanese army has shelled al-Nusra Front militant positions near the north-eastern town of Arsal.

Gunmen kill Lebanese soldiers near Syrian border

At least six Lebanese soldiers have been killed in an ambush near the Syrian border.   Several Lebanese soldiers were martyred in an ambush by armed men on a Lebanese army patrol at Tallet al-Hamra, in the region of Ras Baalbek,” said the official NNA news agency.  The Lebanese military called in air support to target the assailants.

Army battles Islamic militants in Tripoli

At least six Lebanese soldiers have been killed during clashes with Islamic militants in the northern city of Tripoli.  The army said 20 suspected fighters had been arrested during a series of raids following fighting in the city's historic market on Saturday evening.  Some of the militants are suspected of links to the Islamic State (IS) group in neighbouring Syria, with Ahmed Salim Mikati - who the the army accuse of recruiting young Lebanese to fight for IS - among those arrested.

Israeli army fires shells in Lebanon

Israeli army helicopters have fired shells into Lebanon after a bomb exploded near the two countries shared border. "Two soldiers were injured by an explosive device," an IDF spokeswoman said on Tuesday. "It was activated against them during activity near the Lebanon border".

Heavy fighting along Syrian border leaves 18 dead

At least 18 people have been killed following fierce clashes between Syrian-based militants and Hezbollah fighters in eastern Lebanon.  Local reports said militants from the Nusra Front attacked two Hezbollah posts near the border villages of Brital and Nahleh.  A Hezbollah spokesman said that the Sunni fighters had been repelled and that five of them had been captured.

Al-Nusra Front takes responsibility for checkpoint attack

The Syrian militant group, the al-Nusra front, have claimed responsibility for an attack on a Hezbollah checkpoint in north-eastern Lebanon.  At least three people died in the suicide bomb attack near the village of Khraibeh on Saturday night.

Lebanese soldiers killed in Syrian border clashes

At least 16 Lebanese soldiers have been killed in clashes with Syrian rebels around the border town of Arsal over the weekend.  The army responded by shelling rebel positions in the mountains around the town on Monday, with reports that around 50 fighters from the al-Nusra Front and six civilians have been killed.

Suicide bomber dies in failed Beirut hotel attack

A suicide bomber has died in a botched attack on a hotel in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.  Local security officials said the assailant, a Saudi national, died in the blast while another was apprehended. "General security was conducting a raid and were able to arrest one suspect, while another blew himself up," Saqr Saqr, Lebanon's military prosecutor, told Associated Press news agency.

Suicide car bomb rocks Beirut suburb

At least 15 people have been wounded after a suicide car bomb exploded in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.  The blast occurred near a security checkpoint in a southern suburb, mainly inhabited by supporters of the Hezbollah-aligned Shia group Amal.

Suicide car bomb kills one at Lebanese checkpoint

A suicide car bomber has killed one person and wounded at least 30 others at a checkpoint in the Lebanon's Eastern Bekaa Valley on Friday.  The blast occurred moments after security chief Major General Abbas Ibrahim passed through the checkpoint on the main highway joining Lebanon and Syria.  Authorities said the assailant detonated the device when police went to search the vehicle.

Syrian rockets land in east Lebanon

Three rockets fired from Syria have landed in a remote area in the eastern Bekaa town of Labweh.  The Lebanese Army said in a statement that no one had been hurt by the rocket fire.  The Free Sunnis of Baalbek Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack.

Fighting at Sidon refugee camp leave eight dead

At least eight people have been killed and 10 others wounded in fighting at the Mieh Mieh camp in the coastal city of Sidon.  Local sources said that clashes erupted between rival Palestinian militant groups on Monday before a ceasefire was negotiated at the camp.  The leader of the Brigades of Return, Ahmed Rasheed, was among the dead.

Rival clashes erupt in Beirut

Supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have clashed in Lebanon's capital, Beirut.  One person was killed and at least 13 others wounded when the two groups exchanged heavy gun and rocket fire in the Sunni district of Bab al-Tabbaneh and the largely Alawite area of Jabal Muhsin.  The army was deployed to restore order and a security cordon was imposed around the affected area.

Syria closes Lebanese border after clashes

Syria has closed a border crossing with Lebanon after clashes between troops and rebel fighters left 12 people dead.  Dozens of people fled across the border into Lebanon seeking refugee from the fighting, leading to the closure of the Bqaiaa crossing in Wadi Khaled.

Government aircraft targets border town

Syrian military helicopters have carried out several raids on the Lebanese town of Arsal in the Bekaa valley.  Lebanon's state media said that a Syrian woman and a young girl were wounded in one of the raids.

Hezbollah promises to retaliate against Israeli airstrikes

Hezbollah has promised to retaliate against Israeli airstrikes on one of its bases on Monday.  The group said it would "choose the time and place and the proper way to respond" to the incident.  Israel has not officially confirmed that it carried out the strike in the Bekaa Valley near the Syrian border.

Israeli jets target Lebanon-Syria border

Israeli jets have carried out air strikes on the Lebanon-Syria border, reportedly targeting Hezbollah positions in the Bekaa Valley area.  Lebanon's state news agency confirmed that two raids took place near the village of Nabi Sheet, while the Syrian Observatory of Human Right said one of the targets was a Hezbollah missile base.

Suicide bomb targets army checkpoint in Hermel

Two Lebanese soldiers and a civilian have been killed after a suicide bomb exploded at an army checkpoint in the north-eastern city of Hermel.  More than a dozen people were wounded in the blast, which was carried out by militant group Jabhat al-Nusra in Lebanon.

Twin suicide blast kills five in Beirut

At least five people have been killed and 80 others wounded after two suicide bombs exploded in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Wednesday morning.  The Islamic militant group Abdullah Azzam Brigade said that it had carried out the attack, which targeted Iran's cultural centre in the city.  "“It is in response to Iran's party [Hezbollah] fighting alongside the criminal regime in Syria, and the continued detention of Muslim youth in Lebanese prisons" the group said in a statement.

Suicide bomber strikes southern Beirut

A suicide car bomber has detonated his device in a southern district of Beirut, killing himself and at least one other person.  Several others were wounded in the blast, which happened in the Choeifat district of the city during Monday's rush hour.

Car bomb kills three near Syrian border

At least three people have been killed and 28 others wounded after a car bomb exploded in the eastern town of Hermel, close to the border with Syria.  The blast occurred near a petrol station in the town, which is a stronghold of the militant group Hezbollah.  A group calling itself the al-Nusra Front in Lebanon has claimed responsibility for the attack.

ISIS terrorist group expands into Lebanon

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) has announced that it has setup a franchise in Lebanon.  The militant group, which is currently active in Iraq and Syria, called on Sunnis to abandon the Lebanese "crusader" army - referring to the Shia group Hezbollah.  Another Sunni militant group, Jabhat al-Nusra in Lebanon, have also announced their presence in the country, saying in a statement "Iran's party [Hezbollah] and all its bases and bastions are legitimate targets for us, wherever they are."

Two soldiers wounded in Tripoli clashes

Two soldiers have been wounded after the Lebanese army came under fire in the restive northern city of Tripoli.  The clashes took place in the neighbourhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mushin, both Sunni areas where most residents support the rebellion against President Assad in neighbouring Syria. 

Car bomb kills four in Shia suburb of Beirut

At least four people have been killed and more than 30 others wounded after a car bomb exploded in a Shia suburb of southern Beirut.  The official National News Agency have reported that the attack, which took place on al-Arid street in Haret Hreik, was the work of a suicide bomber.  The blast follows a similar attack in early January in the town of Hermel, which killed three people.

Car bomb kills four in Hermel

At least four people have been killed and 26 others wounded after a car bomb exploded in the Shia town of Hermel in northern Lebanon.  The device, which exploded near a local government building in the centre of the town, is believed to have been triggered by a suicide bomber.

Six killed in Beirut car bombing

Six people have been killed and 66 others wounded after a car bomb exploded in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.  The blast occurred in the southern Haret Hreik neighbourhood, a stronghold of the Shia militant group Hezbollah.

Lebanese forces fire at Syrian planes

Lebanese forces have fired at Syrian warplanes after they violated its airspace for the first time since the conflict in Syria began.  A Lebanese official said that anti-aircraft guns fired on two planes after they had bombed a border area near the town of Arsal in the Bekaa Valley.

Car bomb rocks central Beirut

A car bomb has exploded in the Lebanese capital Beirut, killing four people and wounding at least 50 others.  Former Finance Minister Mohamad Chatah, a vocal critic of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Hezbollah, died in the blast.  Saad Hariri, the former PM, has accused Hezbollah of carrying out the attack.

Suicide car bomb targets Hezbollah in eastern Lebanon

A suicide bomber has driven a vehicle packed with explosives into a convoy of Hezbollah members in eastern Lebanon.  The attacker was killed and several other people wounded in the blast, which occurred near the village of Sbouba in the Baalbek region.

Gunmen attack military checkpoints in Sidon

A Lebanese soldier has been killed and three others wounded after unknown gunmen attacked two army checkpoints in the southern city of Sidon.  Four of the militants also died in the coordinated attacks in the Majdelyoun and Awwali neighbourhoods when troops opened fire on them.

Clashes on Israel-Lebanon border

The Israeli army has killed two Lebanese soldiers on the border, hours after an Israeli soldier was killed by cross-border sniper fire.  In a statement the Israeli army said it had carried out the retaliatory strike over the "outrageous breach of Israel's sovereignty".  It is the first deadly border clash between the two countries in more than three years.

Senior Hezbollah commander killed in Beirut

A senior Hezbollah commander has been killed near his home in a suburb of the capital, Beirut.  Gunmen opened fire on Hassan Lakkis in the Saint Therese district of Hadath, some 3km south-west of the city.  Hezbollah has accused the "Israeli enemy" of carrying out the assassination; however, Israel's foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor has denied any involvement by his country.

Tripoli under military control after deadly clashes

Lebanon has put the northern city of Tripoli under military control following two days of sectarian clashes which left 10 people dead.  In the latest outbreak of violence supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fought running gun battles across the city, also leaving some 49 people injured.

Twin suicide blasts kill 23 in Beirut

At least 23 people have been killed and more than 140 others wounded in a twin suicide bomb attack in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.  The blast occurred outside the Iranian embassy and a cultural attache, Ebrahim Ansari, was among the dead.  The Sunni jihadist group Abdullah Azzam Brigades have claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sunni Sheikh shot dead in Tripoli

A pro-Syria Sunni Sheikh has been shot dead by masked gunmen in the restive northern city of Tripoli.  Saad al-Din Ghiyyeh, an official in the Islamic Action Front, was killed as he attempted to get into his car at his house in the Buhsa region of the city.  Soldiers have been deployed to the area to prevent any retaliatory attacks.

Five killed in Tripoli clashes

At least five people have been killed in fighting between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in northern Lebanon.  Around 50 people have also been wounded since gun battles erupted across the city of Tripoli on Monday.

Israeli jets targets southern Lebanon

Israeli jets have bombed a target in southern Lebanon in response to Thursday's rocket fire into northern Israel.  The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) said that one of its bases was hit in the strike, but that there had been no casualties.

Twin explosions reported in Tripoli

Two explosions have been reported in the northern city of Tripoli, killing at least 27 people and wounding more than 350 others.  The first blast occurred near the al-Taqwa Mosque in the city's Abu Ali square, before a second device exploded at the al-Salam mosque in the centre of the city.

Gunmen shoot Lebanese mayor in Labweh

Gunmen have shot a Lebanese mayor and killed two of his companions in the town of Labweh, close to the Syrian border.  The incident occurred shortly after Mayor Ali Hujeiri, a Sunni from the town of Arsal, oversaw a hostage swap with a rival clan in the area.

Turkish Airlines pilots kidnapped in Lebanon

Two pilots from Turkish Airlines have been kidnapped by gunmen on a road near Beirut's International airport.  The victims, both Turkish nationals, were travelling on a bus with other members of the crew when they were ambushed. 

Syrian official shot dead in southern Lebanon

A senior Syrian official has been assassinated outside his home in the southern Lebanese town of Sarafand.  Mohammed Darrar Jamo, a supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was head of the political and international relations division of the International Organisation for Arab Immigrants.

Car bomb hits Hezbollah area of Beirut

Several people have been killed and at least 50 others wounded after a car bomb exploded in the Bir el-Abed area of southern Beirut.  The area is controlled by the Shia militant group Hezbollah, who have been supporting the besieged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  No group have taken responsibility for the attack; however, it is strongly suspected to relate to the Syrian conflict.

Soldiers killed in further Sidon clashes

At least 16 soldiers have been killed in clashes with Sunni militants in the southern port city of Sidon.  The fighting erupted on Sunday when supporters of a hard line Sunni Muslim cleric opened fire on an army checkpoint in the city.

Deadly clashes erupt in south Lebanon

Two people have been killed in gunfight between pro-Hezbollah gropu and followers of Sunni cleric in Sidon.

Six killed in Lebanon clashes

At least six people have been killed in clashes between Sunni and Alawite residents in the northern city of Tripoli.  The fighting started on Sunday evening in the Sunni-majority Bab el-Tabbaneh suburb and Alawite area of Jabal Mohsen.

Hezbollah clash with Syrian rebels inside Lebanon

Fighters from the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah have clashed with Syrian rebel fighters near the town of Baalbek.  The latest confrontation, the worst to occur on Lebanese soil so far, is a further sign that the Syrian conflict is spilling across the border.

Three soldiers killed at Syrian checkpoint

Three Lebanese soldiers have been killed in an ambush at a checkpoint in the town of Arsal along the Syrian border.  Local media said unidentified gunmen opened fire on the soldiers at 0330 local time before fleeing across the border into Syria.

Deadly sectarian clashes reported in Tripoli

At least three people have been killed and a further 40 wounded during sectarian clashes in the northern city of Tripoli.  The caretaker Defence Minster Fayez Ghosn warned that the conflict in neighbouring Syria could "put the fate of the entire country at stake".

Head of Hezbollah reiterates support for Syrian regime

The head of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has reiterated his support for Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria.  Hassan Nasrallah said Syria's rebel groups were not strong enough to defeat the government's forces, while he also confirmed that Hezbollah militants were actively involved in the conflict.

Syrian conflict spills over into Lebanon

Clashes have escalated in the border village of al-Qusayr, amid growing fears that the Syrian conflict is spilling over into Lebanon.  Syrian rebels have warned that they will carry the conflict across the border unless there is an end to what they describe as a Hezbollah-led Shia offensive.  Earlier this week a Hezbollah official said it was the group's duty to defend the citizens in the border villages.

Syrian helicopter fires rocket into Lebanon

A Syrian helicopter has flown across the border into Lebanon and fired two rockets on the outskirts of the town of Arsal.  No casualties have been reported in the town, which currently hosts around 20,000 Syrian refugees.

Gunmen kidnap Syrian men in northern Lebanon

Gunmen have kidnapped 13 men from Syria's Alawite community after they had crossed into northern Lebanon.  Local residents from the border town of Wadi Khaled said gunmen attacked a bus carrying the Syrian nationals, who were heading south for work.  The gunmen said that the hostages would be released when a Lebanese Sunni man being held by Syrian forces is freed.

Lebanon Data Sheet

Population:
4.2 million
Major Religion/s:
Islam, Christianity
International dialing code:
+961
International dialing prefix:
00
Emergency services:
Police 112, Medical 140, Fire 175
Drives:
Right
Voltage:
110/220V
Climate:
Mediterranean
Ohter Major Cities:
Tripoli, Sayda, Sur
Borders:
Israel, Syria