Lebanese judge: 16 port staffers arrested over Beirut blast

Epoch Times

More than 300,000 people were displaced, almost 150 killed and thousands were wounded.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun says he believes Tuesday's blast was caused by either negligence or "external intervention" by a missile or bomb, the associated press reports.

"They wanted to blame Hezbollah for all of the death, destruction and terror caused by the explosion", said Nasrallah.

On Thursday, a Turkish military plane carrying aid and a search and rescue team arrived in Beirut.

People remove debris from a house damaged by Tuesday's explosion in the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Aug. 7, 2020.

Turkey's top officials will visit Lebanon's capital on August 8 following a massive deadly explosion shaking Beirut this week, according to Turkish authorities.

The investigation is focusing on port and customs officials, with 16 employees detained and others questioned.

Even before the blast, the country was mired in a severe economic crisis that was also widely blamed on the political class. Unemployment was soaring, and a collapse of the local currency wiped out many people's savings, That will make the task of rebuilding after the blast even more daunting.

He says the investigation is complicated by the huge scale of the damage and "the Lebanese situation", referring to the political and economic crisis in the country before the explosion.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who visited Lebanon on Thursday, called for an worldwide enquiry, echoing demands widely supported in Lebanon and overseas for an independent probe.

The Lebanese government announced the formation of an investigation committee to probe the blast within a period of five days.

The president promised that everyone responsible for the explosions will be held accountable.

Spokesman Rupert Colville of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights cited the need for the global community to "step up" to help Lebanon with both a quick response and sustained engagement.



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