18:28 GMT20 September 2020
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    Massive Explosion Hits Beirut's Port, Leaving Dozens Dead and Thousands Injured (79)
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    One security officer was killed and more than 700 people were injured in clashes between protesters and police in central Beirut on Saturday. People took to the streets to demand the government step down due to the tough economic situation in Lebanon and the corruption that is believed to have led to a deadly blast at the port on Tuesday.

    After law enforcement officers spent last night expelling protesters from the ministerial buildings they had occupied during anti-government protests on Saturday, another round of public unrest is expected in the Lebanese capital later in the day.

    According to officials, at least one security officer was killed and more than 70 were injured after the protests turned into violent clashes with the demonstrators. In all, more than 700 people sustained injuries during the unrest.

    Beirut saw mass protests on Saturday, with demonstrators demanding the resignation of the government over the continuing economic crisis in the country and following the deadly explosion of ammonium nitrate at the port on 4 August, which has claimed the lives of at least 158 people, leaving nearly 5,000 injured and 300,000 homeless. 

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    • 18:15

      Lebanese Army Denies Using Firearms Against Protesters in Beirut

      CAIRO (Sputnik) - Lebanese military have denied using firearms against civilian demonstrators in Beirut, the command of the Lebanese armed forces said on Sunday.

      "The information that the photo spread on social networks captures Col. Jean Gantous, the head of the security service of the Lebanese city of Baabda, shooting at the demonstrators, is not true ... The army did not use firearms against civilians in the center of Beirut," the statement said.

      According to the National News Agency of Lebanon, clashes between anti-government protesters and police resumed in Beirut on Sunday evening. Police reportedly use tear gas grenades to disperse the crowd. Most violent clashes are currently can be seen the parliament building.

      On Saturday, thousands of protesters clashed with police in Beirut after gathering to demand reforms and a resignation of the government. The riot led to hundreds suffering injuries, including 100 security officers. Lebanon has been plagued by economic woes and its capital was hit by a massive fertilizer explosion which has been blamed on corruption.

    • 17:08

      More Ministerial Buildings Being Stormed by Demonstrators in Beirut on Second Day of Protests

      Lebanese protesters, enraged by a deadly explosion blamed on officials' negligence, clash with security forces for the second evening near an access street to the parliament in central Beirut on August 9, 2020.

      Protesters in Beirut Storm Ministry of Labour and Ministry for Refugee Affairs, Reports Say

      The Lebanese capital has entered the second day of anti-government protests sparked by the economic crisis in the country and the latest deadly blast at Beirut's port which killed at least 158 people and left thousands more injured.
      Read more
    • 16:28

      Police in Beirut Reportedly Use Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets to Disperse Demonstrators

      Lebanese security forces advance during clashes with protesters in downtown Beirut on August 8, 2020, following a demonstration against a political leadership they blame for a monster explosion that killed more than 150 people and disfigured the capital Beirut.

      Clashes Resume in Central Beirut, Reports Say

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Clashes between demonstrators and police have resumed in central Beirut, media reports said Sunday.
      Read more
    • 15:49

      Protesters in Beirut Reportedly Hurl Stones at Police Road Block Near Parliament Building

      Clashes between demonstrators and police have resumed in central Beirut, media reports said Sunday.

      Al Jazeera reported that clashes are taking place outside the parliament building in the Lebanese capital.

      According to Reuters, protesters threw stones at police officers who have been blocking the road to the parliament building.

    • 15:47

      Germany to Provide Additional $23.5 Mln in Aid to Blast-Hit Lebanon, Kuwait Pledges $41Mln

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Germany will provide an additional 20 million euros ($23.5 million) in humanitarian assistance to Lebanon in the aftermath of the deadly explosion at the port of Beirut, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Sunday.

      French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday opened an international videoconference on aid for Lebanon in the wake of the Beirut explosion.

      Earlier in the day, Maas said that Germany would provide 10 million euros to help the Lebanese side. The minister added that the Lebanese government "must take responsibility and respond transparently, investigate the causes of the explosion," and in this case, "the population will again be able to trust" the authorities.

      Kuwait and Brazil will also send humanitarian aid to Lebanon as part of international humanitarian response to the tragedy. Kuwait, in particular, allocated $41 million to assist the Middle East country, while Brazilian authorities will aircraft with humanitarian cargo and medicines to Beirut.

    • 15:39

      US President Says Investigation Into Beirut Explosion Must Be Transparent

      A shockwave is seen during an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon August 4, 2020, in this picture obtained from a social media video

      Trump Calls for Transparent Investigation Into Beirut Blast, Offers to Help Lebanon With Probe

      Over the past several days, the US president has repeatedly suggested that it was possible that the ammonium nitrate explosion which left part of the Lebanese capital in ruins and as many as 300,000 people homeless on August 4 was a "terrible attack," and not an accident.
      Read more
    • 15:01

      Lebanese Environment Minister Resigns Over Deadly Blast in Beirut, Reports Say

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Lebanese Environment and Administrative Development Minister Damianos Kattar resigned on Sunday in the wake of a powerful deadly blast in the port of Beirut, media reported.

      According to Al-Jadeed broadcaster, the country's Prime Minister Hassan Diab was trying to persuade Kattar to continue performing his duties on this post.

      Earlier in the day, Lebanese Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad announced her resigning from office in the wake of the massive explosion in Beirut and subsequent civil anti-government unrest.

      On Saturday, thousands of people took to the streets of Beirut, demanding the government to resign. Protesters have stormed four ministries and the banks association.

      Late on Tuesday, a powerful explosion took place at the port of Beirut, killing at least 158 people and injuring over 6,000, per the latest estimates. According to the authorities, the explosion was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, confiscated by the customs services in 2014 and stored in the port since then. The explosion has also caused considerable damage to the city, having destroyed or damaged dozens of houses.

    • 13:00

      Pope Francis Solicits International Aid for Lebanon After Beirut Explosion

      VATICAN CITY (Sputnik) - Pope Francis on Sunday called on the international community to provide aid to Lebanon in the aftermath of the recent explosion in Beirut.

      During the Angelus prayer, the pontiff mentioned the situation in Beirut, urging everyone, the Lebanese themselves, first and foremost, to join forces in restoring the country.

      "Moreover, I renew the appeal for generous aid on the part of the international community," Francis said.

      Late on Tuesday, a powerful explosion took place at the port of Beirut, killing at least 158 people and injuring over 6,000, per the latest estimates. According to the authorities, the explosion was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, confiscated by the customs services in 2014. The explosion has also caused considerable damage to the city, having destroyed or damaged dozens of houses.

    • 12:39

      Over 100 Lebanese Servicemen Injured in Saturday Protests

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - More than 100 Lebanese servicemen have been injured in Saturday clashes with protesters in Beirut, the country's armed forces said on Sunday.

      Following a massive explosion earlier in the week, thousands took to in streets of Beirut on Saturday to demand the government's resignation. Four ministries and the banks association were stormed by protesters. One law enforcement officer is reported to have died and over 700 people injured.

    • 12:14

      Lebanon's Aoun Thinks Calls for Int'l Probe Into Beirut Explosion 'Waste of Time'

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Lebanese President Michel Aoun has called demands for an international investigation of the recent explosion in Beirut a waste of time, his office announced on Sunday.

      Earlier in the week, Al-Mustaqbal political party, which opposes the current government, called for inviting international experts to look into the explosion.

      "President Aoun thinks that the aim of demands for an international investigation of [the explosion] in the port is to waste time. The judicial process has to be quick but not rushed in order to determine who is a criminal and who is innocent," the office said in a statement.

      On Tuesday, a powerful explosion occurred at the port of Beirut, killing at least 158 people and injuring over 6,000, per the latest estimates. According to the authorities, the explosion was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, confiscated by the customs services in 2014. Protests have sprung up after the explosion calling for the current government to resign.

    • 12:11

      French President Macron Tells UN Donor Conference 'Lebanon's Future is at Stake'

      "We must act quickly and efficiently so that this aid goes directly to where it is needed...Lebanon's future is at stake," French President Emmanuel Macron said addressing a U.N.-backed donor conference he was hosting by video link, Reuters reported.

      The offer of assistance to Lebanon included support for an impartial, credible and independent inquiry into the 4 August port blast that killed at least 158 people, Macron added.

    • 12:07

      Lebanon's Christian Maronite Patriarch Urges Cabinet to Resign

      Lebanon's Christian Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai has called on the cabinet to resign.

      The government cannot "change the way it governs" the country and help it to recover from the Beirut port's deadly explosion, the patriarch said, as quoted by Reuters.

    • 11:33

      Anti-Government Protests in Beirut Enter Second Day

      Riot police fire tear gas at demonstrators during a protest, following Tuesday's blast, in Beirut, Lebanon August 8, 2020.

      Protests in Lebanese Capital Continue as Fury Over Beirut's Deadly Blast Grows - Video

      On Saturday, thousands gathered in downtown Beirut to vent their anger at the government, which they blame for Tuesday's deadly blast at the city's seaport.
      Read more
    • 10:29

      Search for Survivors Ends in Beirut Port as Cleanup Continues, Russian Rescuers Say

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The search for survivors of the devastating blast in the Beirut port has ended, with the operation now focusing on cleaning up the debris, the Russian Emergencies Ministry said on Sunday.

      "The search-and-rescue operation has ended," a spokesperson said, adding the Lebanese Defense Ministry estimated there would be no survivors.

      Russia sent rescuers aboard several planes to Lebanon this week in response to the explosion, which has killed 158 people and injured around 6,000 others. A field hospital has been set up several miles away from the epicentre.

    • 10:22

      Lebanese Information Minister Resigns After Beirut Explosion

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Lebanese Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad on Sunday announced her resigning from office in the wake of a massive explosion in Beirut and subsequent civil unrest.

      On Saturday, thousands of people took to the streets of Beirut, demanding the government to resign. Protesters have stormed four ministries and the banks association.

      "I apologize to the Lebanese whose expectations we have failed to meet, changes have not been made ... And, after the horrible catastrophe in Beirut, I am resigning from the government," Abdel Samad said, according to the Al-Jadeed TV channel.

      Late on Tuesday, a powerful explosion took place at the port of Beirut, killing at least 158 people and injuring over 6,000, per the latest estimates. According to the authorities, the explosion was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, confiscated by the customs services in 2014 and stored in the port since then. The explosion has also caused considerable damage to the city, having destroyed or damaged dozens of houses.

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    Massive Explosion Hits Beirut's Port, Leaving Dozens Dead and Thousands Injured (79)
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