Families of Victims in Beirut's Port Blast Calls for Justice

Published August 4th, 2021 - 06:22 GMT
over 200 people including 10 firefighters killed in the port blast
In this file photo taken on August 4, 2020 a man reacts at the scene of an explosion at the port in Lebanon's capital Beirut. On August 4, 2021 Lebanon will mark the first anniversary of the devastating port blast that thundered through the city, levelling entire neighbourhoods, killing more than 200 people and wounding 6,500 others. IBRAHIM AMRO / AFP
Caretaker prime minister says Lebanese people feel unsafe as full truth not exposed

Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab said Tuesday that achieving justice in the Beirut Port blast starts with holding officials responsible for the tragedy accountable, as the country marked the first anniversary of the explosion.

On August 4, a massive blast rocked Beirut Port, killing 200 people, injuring around 6,000 others, and leaving behind a massive trail of destruction. The blast was caused by a quantity of 2,750 tons of hazardous nitrate ammonium that were improperly stored in the port.


"The August 4 blast exposed the defects of the country,” Diab said. "Lebanese people can't feel safe if the full truth of such catastrophe is not revealed, in which its humanitarian, psychological and social effects can't be overcome.”

On July 2, Tariq Bitar, a judge investigating the port blast, asked to lift the immunity of three Lebanese lawmakers, but the parliament requested further documents and clarifications before moving to lift immunity.

"Complete facts of the catastrophe can't be revealed without clear answers to fundamental questions: who brought these [chemical] materials? Why? How and why it was stored for 7 years? How did the blast happen?" Diab said.

Interior Minister Mohammad Fehmi rejected a request by Bitar to question Abbas Ibrahim, head of the General Security Directorate, and State Security Chief Toni Saliba over the blast. Bitar also requested to question former army commander Jean Kahwaji and other former high-rank army officials.

Families of the victims hold rallies regularly demanding bringing officials responsible for the blast accountable.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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