A large fire erupted on Thursday at Beirut port, sending a huge column of smoke above the city a little more than a month after a massive blast devastated the port and surrounding residential area of the Lebanese capital. The blaze erupted in the shattered duty free zone of the port and one official said it was limited to that area.
A pulsing signal was detected Thursday from under the rubble of a Beirut building that collapsed during the horrific port explosion in the Lebanese capital last month, raising hopes there may be a survivor still buried there. The effort unfolded after a sniffer dog belonging to the Chilean search and rescue team first detected something as the team was going through Gemmayzeh Street in Beirut and rushed toward the rubble of a building.
Lebanon’s government has resigned amid mounting anger over the explosion on Tuesday that devastated parts of Beirut and left more than 200 people dead. The announcement was made in a national TV address by Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Monday evening. Mr Diab, who was appointed prime minister in January after months of deadlock, said his government had “gone to great lengths to lay out a road map to save the country”.
Lebanon’s protesters stormed several government ministries as violent protests gripped Beirut on Saturday night. The foreign ministry, the environment ministry and the economy ministry were occupied by angry demonstrators who called for the downfall of Lebanon’s ruling elite five days after a blast ripped through the Lebanese capital causing widespread destruction. Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab has vowed to hold early elections as his beleaguered government faces calls to resign.
Lebanon’s president said an investigation into the Beirut port warehouse explosion was looking at whether it was the result of external interference, in addition to simple negligence or an accident, his office said on Friday. “The cause has not been determined yet. There is a possibility of external interference through a rocket or bomb or other act,” President Michel Aoun said in comments carried by local media and confirmed by his office.
The number of dead in Beirut’s huge explosion has risen to at least 135, with around 5,000 injured and tens of people still missing. The rise was announced by health minister Hamad Hassan as rescuers continued a desperate search for survivors. The cabinet has ordered port officials involved in storing or guarding ammonium nitrate since 2014 to be put under house arrest.
Lebanese rescue workers dug through the mangled wreckage of buildings on Wednesday looking for survivors after a massive warehouse explosion sent a devastating blast wave across Beirut, killing at least 100 people and injuring nearly 4,000. It sent a mushroom cloud into the sky and rattled windows on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, about 100 miles (160 km) away. The blast was the most powerful ever to rip through Beirut.
Tear gas engulfed central Beirut as security forces chased protesters near Lebanon’s parliament on Sunday in a second night of street clashes that wounded dozens of people. The protests erupted from anger at a political elite that has overseen decades of corruption and steered the country toward its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
Parliamentary results released on Monday indicate Hezbollah, the Shi’a Islamist political party and militant group, and its political allies have expanded their share of seats in Lebanon’s parliament, making them the dominant force in the Lebanese legislature. Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri whose Western-backed Future Movement lost a third of its seats is expected to be asked to form a new unity government.
Lebanon held its first parliamentary election in nine years on Sunday and fewer than half of the country’s registered voters cast their ballots. The election hosted 583 total candidates competing for 128 seats in parliament. Many who did not vote believed the election was predetermined. The results are expected to be announced on Monday while unofficial results showed Hezbollah and its political allies won just over half the seats.