A woman walks by burning tires that were set fire to block a road during a protest against government's plans to impose new taxes in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. The protests erupted over the government's plan to impose new taxes during a severe economic crisis, with people taking their anger out on politicians they accuse of corruption and decades of mismanagement. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Lebanon protests over proposed taxes escalate

October 18, 2019 - 5:03 am

BEIRUT (AP) — Demonstrators in Lebanon are blocking major roads across the country in a second day of protests against proposed new taxes, which come amid a severe economic crisis.

Hundreds of people burned tires on highways and intersections Friday, sending up clouds of black smoke in scattered protests.

Two Syrian workers died Thursday when they were trapped in a shop that was set on fire by rioters. Dozens of people were injured.

The street demonstrations began Thursday evening and quickly escalated into some of the biggest protests in years. They were sparked when government announced plans for new taxes on such items as voice calls made through messaging applications, including Whatsapp.

The protests could plunge Lebanon into a political crisis with unpredictable repercussions for the economy, which has been in steady decline.

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