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A powerful explosion in Beirut: numerous casualties and destruction, the shock wave reached Cyprus

A powerful explosion occurred in Beirut ahead of a court verdict in the case of the murder of ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, writes Air force.

Photo: video screenshot YouTube / ITV News

Video footage from the Lebanese capital shows a mushroom-shaped cloud and significant destruction. The explosion took place in the port of Beirut, and the office of the English-language newspaper Daily Star is also located nearby. There are also unconfirmed reports of a second explosion near Hariri's former residence.

Photo: video screenshot

The BBC correspondent at the scene saw the bodies of the dead and destruction, so massive that the port of Beirut could not continue to work. This is a hard blow for a country importing almost everything it needs.

According to the Ministry of Health, at least 50 people died and 2750 were injured (as of 15:40 ET; 22:40 local time).

Health Minister Hamad Hassan (a Shiite and Hezbollah representative in the government) reported "a very high number of victims," ​​Reuters reports with reference to LBC.

Local media report that people are buried under the rubble.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan reported that the blast wave damaged the building of the embassy of this country and received "minor injuries" to the consul. An employee of the Russian embassy was injured, she received medical assistance.

The reasons for the explosion are still unclear; some Lebanese media admit that a pyrotechnic warehouse exploded.

At the same time, says Jeremy Bowen, editor of the BBC's Middle East Bureau, other versions quickly appeared, for example, that the explosion was caused by Israel.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said that his country had nothing to do with the explosion in Lebanon, Reuters reports with reference to the Israeli TV channel N12.

The main questions about what happened are answered by "New Time".

What consequences?

  • According to the Ministry of Health, at least 50 people died and 2750 were injured (as of 15:40 ET; 22:40 local time);
  • hundreds of wounded have been taken to hospitals, but many more have remained locked up in their homes, the Lebanese Red Cross chief said;
  • hospitals cannot cope with the influx of victims;
  • Lebanon asks WHO and Qatar to help provide medical assistance to victims;
  • half of the city was affected, the governor said;
  • the building of the international airport was damaged;
  • the rubble is being dismantled, the fire has not yet been extinguished.

What reason?

  • the explosion was heard several tens of kilometers away, it happened in the port at the place where the confiscated explosives were transported, says a representative of the Lebanese army;
  • the head of the general security of Lebanon denied the version of the explosion of pyrotechnics and said that it was other explosives; Sources from the LBCI TV channel report that this is a cargo of sodium nitrate (a salt of nitric acid), which was confiscated from one of the ships more than a year ago and was stored in a warehouse in the port.

What else is known?

  • the prime minister declared Wednesday a day of mourning;
  • the president ordered the army to patrol the affected areas and called a high defense council;
  • The explosion was felt even by the residents of Cyprus (250 km from Beirut).

On Friday, August 7, the UN tribunal is to announce the verdict to the four accused in absentia of Hariri's murder. Hariri died in 2005 in a powerful car bomb explosion.

The blast was blamed on the Iran-backed paramilitary Hezbollah, which includes all four of the accused. It has consistently denied all charges.

Lebanon has been experiencing an acute economic crisis in recent months, further exacerbated by the Covid-19 epidemic.

Miscellaneous Lebanon explosion Beirut World

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