Beirut explosion: Nasrallah rejects claims Hezbollah had arms in port

Andrew Cummings
August 8, 2020

The president promised that everyone responsible for the explosions will be held accountable. The powerful shockwave caused war-like devastation across several city blocks around the port area, displacing over 300,000 residents.

The anger over Tuesday's explosion rose after the revelation that a large shipment of unsafe ammonium nitrate fertiliser had been stored for years in a warehouse.

Government launches investigation among mounting criticism of negligence.

Lebanon is facing the "triple tragedy of the socio-economic crisis, COVID-19 and the ammonium nitrate explosion", Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said, urging Lebanese leaders to "overcome political stalemates and address the grievances of the population".

A nationwide protest movement began last October, sparked by an unpopular proposal to tax the WhatsApp messaging app. Demonstrators called for the overthrow of a political oligarchy they accuse of enriching themselves while hollowing out the state.

On Thursday, a Turkish military plane carrying aid and a search and rescue team arrived in Beirut. Lebanese firefighters are also working at the demolished port, where bulldozers and excavators were churning through the rubble.

Trey Yingst goes inside a damaged apartment complex in Beirut, Lebanon as the investigation continues into the deadly explosion. Officials have estimated losses at $10 billion to $15 billion US.

They include port and customs officials as well as maintenance workers and their managers, Akiki said.

Anger against the government has been brewing with protesters clashing with police on Thursday night at an anti-government rally in the Lebanese capital. The ruling factions use public institutions to accumulate wealth and distribute patronage to supporters.

Damaged hospitals, already strained by the coronavirus pandemic, are still struggling to deal with the wounded.

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