Anti-government protesters wave Lebanese flags and shout slogans against the Lebanese government during a protest in Beirut, Lebanon. Picture: AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

Beirut - A video showing anti-government protesters in Lebanon singing 'Baby Shark' to try comfort a scared child took went viral on social media.

Hundreds of thousands of people have flooded streets across Lebanon since Thursday, furious at a political class they accuse of pushing the economy to the point of collapse.

Banks and schools remained shut on Tuesday. Early in the morning, the number of protesters in central Beirut and the northern city of Tripoli appeared smaller than on previous days.

The protests have been overwhelmingly peaceful since Friday evening when some demonstrators clashed with the security forces in central Beirut.

Late on Monday, soldiers skirmished in Beirut with young men on motorcycles holding the flags of the powerful Shia movements Hezbollah and Amal. Both parties denied any role.

The protesters have been blocking highways as part of the countrywide demonstrations which have united Lebanese from across the sectariain spectrum and have not been led by any of the parties that have long dominated politics.

Some main roads had reopened on Tuesday but they remained blocked in some areas.

The security source would seek to convince protesters on the need to open main roads.

"If they are convinced, so be it, if they are not the roads will remain closed," the source said. Some roads had been reopened in the south, the source added.

"We will not clash with the protesters and make a problem on the ground," the source said.

The reforms announced by Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday included the symbolic halving of the salaries of ministers and lawmakers, as well as moves towards implementing long-delayed measures vital to putting the public finances on a sustainable path.

The economy has been hit by political paralysis and regional conflicts, compounded by strains in the financial system that have risen as inward capital flows have slowed. Unemployment among the under 35s runs at 37%. 

Reuters and IOL