13:32 GMT23 September 2020
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    Massive Explosion Hits Beirut's Port, Leaving Dozens Dead and Thousands Injured (79)
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    US President Donald Trump sent his sympathies to the Lebanese people on Tuesday, following an explosion in Beirut that has killed scores of people. However, the president referred to it as an "attack," which contradicts statements by the Lebanese government that it was an industrial accident.

    Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday he sends “America’s deepest sympathies to the people of Lebanon” following the explosion at the Port of Beirut, which has killed at least 73 people and injured thousands more.

    “Our prayers go out to all their victims and their families,” Trump said, indicating the US “stands ready to assist.”

    “We have a very good relationship with the people of Lebanon and we will be there to help," he said.

    "It looks like a terrible attack.” When a reporter asked for clarification on the remark, Trump said, "it was a bomb of some kind."

    "It would seem like [an attack] based on the explosion. I've met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that it was. This was not some kind of a manufacturing explosion-type of event. This was seems to be, according to them, they would know better than I would, but they seem to think it was a attack," he continued.

    Earlier, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosion had been caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate left unsecured in a warehouse by the port for more than six years.

    "I will not rest until we find the person responsible for what happened, to hold him accountable and impose the most severe penalties,” Diab said.

    Diab has also pushed for Lebanese President Michel Aoun to declare a state of emergency for the next two weeks. The supreme defense council has already declared Beirut a disaster-stricken city.

    Wednesday has been declared a national day of mourning in Lebanon.
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    Massive Explosion Hits Beirut's Port, Leaving Dozens Dead and Thousands Injured (79)

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    Tags:
    press conference, attack, explosion, Donald Trump, Beirut
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