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Beirut explosion: City in shock amid destruction

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Beirut explosion: City in shock amid destruction
More than 135 killed in blast apparently caused by highly explosive material stored in Lebanese capital's port
Key Points
At least 5,000 wounded
Beirut governor says at least 200,000 made homeless, half city damaged
President Michel Aoun said it was 'unacceptable' that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate was stored unsafely at the port

Live Updates

Lebanon blast killed at least 137, injured 5,000
2 months ago

Lebanon's health ministry on Thursday confirmed that the Beirut port blast killed at least 137 people and left at least 5,000 wounded. 

Dozens of people continue to be missing and unaccounted for. 

Macron arrives in Beirut to call for a 'new Lebanon'
2 months ago

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Beirut on Thursday. 

His aides have said that Macron will call for deep change to help build a "new Lebanon."

"The aim of the president's visit is to believe the idea that Lebanon is alone, sunk and about to disappear," an adviser to Macron told Reuters.

"It will be an occasion to try to give hope to the Lebanese, tell them there's a way, and that France is there to walk alongside them."

Four Bangladeshi nationals killed, 100 others injured
2 months ago

At least four Bangladeshi nationals were killed and around 100 others were injured in the deadly explosion in Beirut, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) reported on Wednesday, citing officials at the Bangladeshi Embassy in Lebanon.

Among the injured were 21 Bangladeshi naval personnel who were on duty at the Beirut port, the epicentre of the explosion, for a UN peacekeeping mission.

Among the injured Bangladeshi expatriates, eight are undergoing treatment at hospitals.

"On behalf of the embassy, we are supervising their (expatriate Bangladeshis) treatment as well as providing them financial support," the Bangladeshi envoy in Lebanon said, according to BSS.

There are roughly 170,000 Bangladeshi expatriates living in Lebanon, according to estimates.

Collective losses could reach $15bn: Beirut governor
2 months ago

Beirut's governor Marwan Abboud told Al Hadath TV on Wednesday that collective losses after the blast may reach anywhere from $10bn to $15bn, including both direct and indirect losses related to business.

Beirut explosion: How the port blast will hit Lebanon's economy
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The governor also told the news organisation that amounts of available wheat are currently limited - 15,000 tonnes of wheat had been stored at the port's silos - and he thinks a crisis might take place without international interference.

The impact of the explosion on the economy could cause further falls in the lira, which has dropped from LL1,507 to the dollar to over LL8,000, which would make imports even more expensive.

The disaster is the third shock to hit the country since protests erupted in October 2019, and the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Iraq to provide fuel aid, wheat supplies to Beirut after blast: Statement
2 months ago

An Iraqi delegation headed by the country's oil minister met Lebanese prime minister Hassan Diab on Wednesday and informed him that Baghdad will provide fuel aid to Beirut after the blast, according to a statement from the Lebanese government.

Iraq is also sending wheat supplies to Beirut that will arrive on Friday, Lebanese local media reported.

Some 15,000 tonnes of wheat had been stored at the silos of the Beirut port, which was the epicentre of the explosion.

Pentagon chief contradicts Trump, says Beirut blast was 'accident'
2 months ago

US defence secretary Mark Esper said the Beirut blast was an "accident", contradicting a claim made by President Donald Trump that the blast as an "attack".

Beirut explosion: US defence officials contradict Trump, no indication of 'attack'
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"Most believe that it was an accident, as reported. And beyond that, I have nothing further report on. It's obviously a tragedy," Esper said during a virtual interview at Aspen Security Forum on Wednesday.

The Pentagon chief added that Washington has reached out to the Lebanese government to offer assistance, including humanitarian and medical aid.

"We're positioning ourselves to provide them whatever assistance we can, humanitarian and medical supplies... It's the right thing to do," he said.

Three other US defence officials told CNN that there was no indication that the incident was an attack, and said they were unsure where the president got that information.