Selin ATAY-TDO- Lebanese grappling with economic problems in recent years have reacted with protests launched across the country to the government's attempt to impose a tax on communications and, in particular, the social communications network WhatsApp.

The government had announced a $0.20 (£0.16) daily charge on voice calls made through WhatsApp and other apps. But it scrapped the plans hours later amid clashes between security forces and protesters. 

Thousands have protested, calling on the government to step down over its handling of an economic crisis.

Dozens were reported injured on Thursday as protesters burned tyres and security forces fired tear gas. The demonstrations were the biggest seen in Lebanon for years.

Thousands of Lebanese people have taken to the streets amid an economic crisis that many blame on the government. 

Protests continued in the capital Beirut and other cities, although the government backtracked its decision to impose a tax on the social networking WhatsApp app in particular. "We are not here over the WhatsApp, we are here over everything: over fuel, food, bread, over everything," said  protesters in Beirut. Protestors also reacted to the government's inability to fight the biggest forest fires in Lebanon in recent years.

On Friday, Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said the country was going through an "unprecedented, difficult time". He issued a 72-hour deadline to his "partners in government" to stop blocking reforms.

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