Lebanese Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at his office, in the interior ministry, in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. Machnouk said Security forces have orders to show restraint at a planned mass protest against Lebanon's government this weekend, but will not tolerate attempts by "thugs" to make trouble. Two rallies in the capital of Beirut last weekend drew 20,000 people, and dozens were hurt in clashes between protesters and security forces at the time. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein) Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Lebanese Interior Minister Nouhad Mashnouk Wednesday reiterated a previous accusation that recent riots in the country had foreign support. Mashnouk said Tuesday that ‘a small Arab country’ was playing an active role in financing and instigating riots, triggering a wave of speculation that he was referring to Qatar.

However, on Wednesday, Mashnouk declined to reveal which Arab country he actually meant.

“I have not named Qatar or any other country,” he said. “I will not name any country before being 100 per cent sure. Naming a country is a tremendous responsibility and would leave an impact on relations with that country. Lebanon is keen to keep its interests and solidarity with other Arab countries,” he added.

Lebanon has witnessed protests in the recent few weeks to protest an ongoing garbage crisis in Lebanon. The protests turned violent in the past few days.

While Mashnouk admitted “excessive use of force” by the security forces on August 22, he stressed that no live ammunition was used.

“Not a single civilian was injured by live ammunition,” he said.

“There were more injuries among the security personnel than the protestors”, he said, adding that 146 security forces were injured.

Mashnouk warned “any occupation or assault on any of the public institutions will be dealt with immediately, by force and under the authority of the law”.