Dozens of people have been injured in running battles between security forces and anti-government protesters in Lebanon.

Riot police fired rubber bullets and tear gas after being pelted with stones and firecrackers by demonstrators on the streets of the capital Beirut.

Snatch squads beat and detained protesters as the two sides engaged in cat-and-mouse clashes.

Beirut clashes
Image: Medical teams said they had treated 54 people, with more than half taken to hospital

The violent unrest was the worst seen since demonstrations began two months ago, amid public fury at the economic crisis engulfing the country.

Medical teams said they had treated 54 people for injuries, with more than half being taken to hospital.

The security forces said at least 20 officers were wounded.

Riot police detain an anti-government demonstrator during clashes in the capital Beirut
Image: Protesters were detained by snatch squads after trouble flared in Beirut

The trouble flared just days before the president meets with parliamentary groups in a bid to name a prime minister after the protests forced the incumbent Saad al Hariri from office.

More from Beirut

Previous efforts had stalled after rival political factions failed to agree on a new head of government.

An administration is urgently needed to tackle the crisis gripping the country, with foreign donors holding back financial support until there is a cabinet in place to carry out reforms.

Protesters are calling for the resignation of the government and the overthrow of the political class
Oct: Lebanese prime minister quits

The unrest erupted in October fuelled by anger at the rising cost of living, new tax plans and the political establishment, which is accused of exploiting the state for their own benefit.