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Lebanese “kick queen” to face military trial

LEBANESE protest icon Malak Alawiye, known as the “kick queen” after an incident involving a ministerial bodyguard during a protest last October, is set to face a military trial.

She was charged by the country’s civilian judiciary last year, but the case had now been referred to a military tribunal.

It is unclear whether the charges relate to the kick or another altercation as Ms Alawiye has not been charged with physical assault, but with “insulting and defaming security forces.”

The October incident occurred when a car carrying former education minister Akram Chehayeb was blocked by protesters in the capital, Beirut, after anti-government demonstrations were sparked by a new tax on the WhatsApp messenger service.

His bodyguard got out of the car and fired several shots into the air, infuriating the protesters. Ms Alawiye then delivered a powerful kick to the man’s groin.

Video footage of the incident went viral on social media.

Protests have continued as the Lebanese economy remains mired in crisis.

IMF technical experts were invited to advise the new government yesterday, raising fears of structural reforms, including cuts to government spending and privatisation of services.

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