Dozens of pro-Syrian regime supporters attacked a group of around 30 protesters demonstrating in Beirut’s Hamra neighborhood in front of the Syrian embassy on Tuesday evening, injuring at least five people, eyewitnesses told NOW Lebanon.
The witnesses said that the attackers beat the protesters in front of the embassy with belts, adding that one person was rushed to Beirut’s Makasid Hospital while another was admitted to the nearby American University Hospital.
The Lebanese security forces in front of the Syrian embassy left their posts when the attack began, the witnesses also said.
After the initial attack, three demonstrators fleeing from the scene were chased by the assailants to Hamra Street, where they were beaten. The victims of the attack were also taken to Makasid Hospital.
Meanwhile, a group of demonstrators sought refuge in the Kabab-ji restaurant on Hamra street, while pro-Syrian regime loyalists surrounded the eatery, witnessed added.
The staff at the restaurant called the police to come to the scene, witnesses said, adding that the army intervened to escort the besieged demonstrators to safety.
Opponents and supporters of the Syrian regime have held a number of demonstrations across Lebanon since anti-regime protests started mid-March in Syria.