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Lebanese interior minister says sit-ins, attacks on state institutions will not be tolerated

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BEIRUT — Lebanon's interior minister says sit-ins and attacks targeting state institutions will no longer be tolerated.

Nohad Machnouk spoke Wednesday, a day after a group of protesters marched into the Environment Ministry in Beirut, occupying a floor of the building in a drawn-out standoff with security forces that lasted nine hours.

PHOTO: Lebanese anti-government protesters clash with riot policemen outside the Environment Ministry in support of activists staging a sit-in inside, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Lebanese security forces dragged a number of activists out of the Environment Ministry in downtown Beirut, where they were staging an hours-long sit-in on Tuesday demanding the minister's resignation over a trash crisis that has ignited mass protests. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Lebanese anti-government protesters clash with riot policemen outside the Environment Ministry in support of activists staging a sit-in inside, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. Lebanese security forces dragged a number of activists out of the Environment Ministry in downtown Beirut, where they were staging an hours-long sit-in on Tuesday demanding the minister's resignation over a trash crisis that has ignited mass protests. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

The protesters were demanding the resignation of the minister for his failure to deal with the country's trash crisis.

At a news conference, Machnouk said security forces will act decisively and with force from now on if protesters do not respond to orders.

Announcing the results of an investigation into excessive use of force by police during a protest Aug. 22, Machnouk said two police officers were referred to the Disciplinary Council and six officers will face disciplinary measures.

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