September 18, 2020

Beirut Explosion: Angry Protesters Set to Take to Streets

Thousands of Lebanese furious with their political leaders will later take to Beirut’s streets, four days after a huge explosion left at least 154 dead.

Tuesday’s blast at the port devastated parts of the city and has reignited deep-seated anger at what many see as an inept and corrupt political class.

The explosion was caused by a huge stock of ammonium nitrate that had been seized from a ship but never moved.

The government has promised to find those responsible.

But there is a huge level of mistrust in Lebanon, where an anti-government protest movement erupted last October, fuelled by an economic crisis and a collapsing currency.

Two ministers who attempted to visit badly damaged neighbourhoods in recent days were chased out.

“After three days of cleaning, removing rubble and licking our wounds… it is time to let our anger explode and punish them,” Fares Halabi, a 28-year-old activist, told the AFP news agency ahead of Saturday’s protests.

A march will travel from one of the most devastated areas near the port to Martyrs’ Square, the heart of the anti-government uprising that began last year.

Apart from showing the city’s anger, it is also meant to remember victims of the explosion, which injured 5,000 and left some 300,00 homeless.


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