Massive blast at Beirut port injures dozens across capital

Updated on Aug 04, 2020 10:54 PM IST

Footage showed a huge plume of smoke billowing into the sky over the Port of Beirut, as well as severe damage to buildings and shops in the area, including the home of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Windows shattered in buildings across the city

People help a man wounded in a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.(AP)
People help a man wounded in a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.(AP)
ByBloomberg | Posted by Arpan Rai

A massive explosion at Lebanon’s main port rocked the capital Beirut and its suburbs, injuring dozens of people and damaging many buildings.

Footage showed a huge plume of smoke billowing into the sky over the Port of Beirut, as well as severe damage to buildings and shops in the area, including the home of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Windows shattered in buildings across the city

The official news agency NNA said the blast occurred at a firework depot in the port.

Also read | ‘Like an earthquake’: Huge explosion rips through Beirut captured on video

Lebanon is undergoing its worst political and financial crisis in decades. The country’s foreign minister resigned on Monday, warning that conflicting interests threatened to turn the country into “a failed state.”

The government, backed by the militant Hezbollah group and its allies, has struggled to carry out reforms demanded by the international community as the price of a bailout. Talks with the International Monetary Fund for a $10 billion loan have stalled, and the government has appealed for aid from Gulf countries -- primarily Kuwait, Iraq and Qatar.

The onetime benefactors have been wary about channeling funds into Lebanon as they’d done in the past, especially given Iran-backed Hezbollah’s growing influence in the country. Hezbollah is classified by Gulf states and the US as a terrorist group.

Hezbollah and Israel have also faced off in recent days traded blows in recent days after an Israeli airstrike that killed a Hezbollah fighter in Syria.

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