BEIRUT — Twenty-five Internal Security Forces (ISF) agents, including two officers, were injured at the Azerbaijan Embassy in Beirut on Thursday, where they clashed with Lebanese-Armenians protesting the dissolution of self-proclaimed Armenian Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, ISF said in a statement.
"During the riots, two officers and 23 members of the ISF were injured due to the throwing of fireworks and rocks," according the statement.
ISF also said that, at 5 p.m., 1,500 people including politicians and religious figures gathered in front of the Azerbaijani embassy, which resulted in "riots that manifested in throwing fireworks, rocks, sticks, Molotov cocktails and other paint material on the ISF members."
"Scuffles occurred with the force that is assigned to protect the building of the embassy before things got back to normal after the [ISF] was forced to use teargas," the police continued. According to the ISF, the same scenario was repeated at 6:30 p.m.
L'Orient Today's reporter on the ground said that approximately 12 demonstrators were injured during clashes with the police. Police deployed tear gas and the Red Cross was seen treating children for asphyxiation.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a region with an Armenian majority that seceded from Azerbaijan when the USSR disintegrated. For more than three decades, it has been at odds with Baku, notably in two active wars between 1988 and 1994, and in the autumn of 2020.
But last week, Azerbaijan launched a military offensive to retake it, forcing the separatists to capitulate within 24 hours, without the intervention of Russian peacekeepers deployed there since late 2020.
Armenia, which has supported this territory for decades, did not intervene militarily this time either, paving the way for the region's reintegration into Azerbaijan.
Since then, tens of thousands of Armenians fled the arrival of Azerbaijani troops, fearing repression and violence via the Lachin corridor, which is the only road linking Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. It was reopened on Sunday by Baku after months of blockade.