President Michel Aoun said that keeping 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate at a warehouse for six years without any security measures is unacceptable. He stressed that those who are responsible will be punished in the strongest terms and declared a state of emergency for two weeks in the capital Beirut. President Aoun said the government would release 100 billion lira of emergency funds.
Meanwhile, UAE’s Dubai Police chief Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan accused leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement Hassan Nasrallah of being behind the explosion. He referred the explosion to the day when a verdict is announced on a trial over the killing of Lebanon’s ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.
The US said it is closely watching the incident and stands ready to assist the people of Lebanon.
An Israeli official denied Israel’s involvement in Beirut blast. Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said that the explosion was most likely an accident caused by a fire.
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