Protest erupted in Tripoli on Tuesday, with banks set ablaze after a night of rioting that left one demonstrator dead, according to security and medical sources.
A collapse in the Lebanese pound and soaring inflation and unemployment are compounding hardship in Lebanon, which has been in deep financial crisis since October.
A shutdown to curb the spread of the new coronavirus has exacerbated economic woes.
Protesters in Tripoli set two banks on fire and smashed their facades, prompting the army to deploy and dozens of soldiers to take position in a street lined with several banks, some firing rubber bullets and tear gas.
In Beirut dozens marched across the city, some wearing medical masks while chanting against the financial system and shouting for more Lebanese to join.
Later, crowds hurled stones toward security forces positioned in front of the central bank.
In a statement overnight, the army said soldiers were attacked during rioting in Tripoli. A fire-bomb was thrown at one of its vehicles and a hand grenade was hurled at a patrol, lightly wounding two soldiers, it said.
The army blamed the trouble on “a number of infiltrators” and called on peaceful protesters to quickly leave the streets.
The unrest threatens to tip the country back into violence even as Beirut looks to pass an economic rescue plan and enter negotiations with foreign creditors after defaulting on its hefty debt obligations last month.