Blast probe will look into possibility of external influence: Lebanon president
BEIRUT (LEBANON) – President Michel Aoun of Lebanon said on Friday that the probe into the biggest explosion in the history of the capital would look into whether it was caused by a bomb or external interference.
The search for those who are missing has been stepped up as rescue workers are racing to find out if anyone is still trapped alive under the debris of buildings flattened by the blast that left 154 dead.
“The cause has not been determined yet. There is a possibility of external interference through a rocket or bomb or other act,” Aoun said.
The president said the probe would also find if the mishap was due to negligence or an accident.
The US had earlier said it did not rule out an attack. Israel, which has had armed conflicts with Lebanon, dismissed having any role in the blast.
Meanwhile, security forces lobbed teargas at a crowd of furious residents in Beirut on Thursday. They were protesting against the ruling elite.
Some protesters hurled stones, marking a return to the kind of protests that had become a regular feature of Beirut life earlier.
“There is no way we can rebuild this house. Where is the state?” Tony Abdou, an unemployed 60-year-old, asked.
He stays in Gemmayze, a district that lies a few hundred metres from the warehouses where 2,750 tonnes of highly explosive ammonium nitrate was stored for years.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field