January 23, 2020 / 12:13 PM / a month ago

Political manipulation seen behind Lebanon violent protests: U.N. official

FILE PHOTO: Stones are seen on the ground as Lebanese police gather during a protest against the newly formed government in Beirut, Lebanon January 22, 2020. REUTERS/Aziz Taher

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Violence by some protesters in the Lebanese capital Beirut appears to be politically driven to undermine security and stability, a senior United Nations official said on Thursday.

“This looks more like a political manipulation to provoke the security forces, to undermine civil peace, to fan up sectarian strife,” Jan Kubis, U.N. special coordinator for Lebanon, wrote on Twitter, mentioning attacks on security forces and vandalism of state institutions and private property.

Reporting by Tom Perry; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Ellen Francis

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