Protests as Lebanon arrests 16 over Beirut blast: Live updates | Lebanon News


  • Lebanese authorities have taken into custody 16 people as part of an investigation into the Beirut port warehouse explosion that shook the capital, state news agency NNA reported.

  • The Lebanese government has given an investigative committee four days to determine responsibility for the blast, Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe told French radio.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron offered France’s support for the Lebanese people on a visit to Beirut, but said crisis-hit Lebanon would “continue to sink” unless its leaders carry out reforms.

INTERACTIVE: Beirut explosion map

Here are the latest updates:

Friday, August 7

06:48 GMT – Lebanese bride happy to be alive after blast cuts short wedding video

Israa Seblani, a 29-year-old doctor working in the United States, arrived in Lebanon three weeks ago to prepare for her wedding.

Her bridal photo shoot was cut short and captured the Beirut explosion that took place on Tuesday. Seblani, in her long veil and white wedding dress, helped to check on the injured nearby, before fleeing central Beirut’s Saifi square to safety.



“There is a lot of damage, many people were killed and wounded. But also if I want to look at us, myself, my husband, the photographer – how we escaped unharmed, I thank God for protecting us.”

“This alone makes me feel optimistic and to keep the joy of the occasion that I came here to celebrate.”


Hello, this is Linah Alsaafin in Doha taking over from my colleague Zaheena Rasheed.


04:19 GMT – Four Filipinos killed, 31 injured

At least four Filipinos were killed in the Beirut explosion and two others were in critical condition, according to the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs.

A total of 31 Filipinos were injured in the blast, the office said.

02:10 GMT – Beirut resident vents fury at Lebanese leaders

A Beirut resident has told Al Jazeera live on air why so many are furious with Lebanon’s authorities after she lost four neighbours in Tuesday’s explosion.

“Our anger will only stop…if we see those b******* in prison,” she said.




Beirut resident’s fury at Lebanese authorities (2:25)

01:47 GMT – Ex-captain of cargo ship blames Lebanese authorities for blast

Boris Prokoshev, the former captain of the ship that brought almost 3,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate to Beirut, said Lebanese authorities were “very well” aware of the dangers posed by the vessel’s cargo.

“It’s the government of Lebanon that brought about this situation,” Prokoshev told The Associated Press news agency from his home in the Krasnodar region of Russia.

His ship, the MV Rhosus, was not supposed to be in Lebanon at all, he said.

RUSSIA LEBANON SHIP

Boris Prokoshev, a sea captain, poses for a photo after his interview with The Associated Press outside Sochi, Russia [Kirill Lemekh/ AP]

When it set sail from the Georgian Black Sea port of Batumi, the ship was bound for the Mozambiquan port of Beira. But the Rhosus made a stop in Beirut to try to earn extra money by taking on several pieces of heavy machinery.

The machinery proved too heavy for the Rhosus, however, and the crew refused to take it on. The ship was soon impounded by the Lebanese authorities for failing to pay port fees, and never left the port again. 

“They knew very well that there was dangerous cargo there,” Prokoshev said. “In my opinion, they should have even paid him [the owner of the boat] to take the dangerous cargo, a real headache, out of the port. But they just arrested the ship instead.”

00:54 GMT – EU releases $39m in emergency aid

The European Union announced the release of 33 million euros ($39m) in emergency aid to Lebanon to help cover the immediate needs of emergency services and hospitals in Beirut.

A donor conference is also planned to mobilise additional funding for reconstruction after an assessment of what is required, an EU source told the AFP news agency.

Thursday, August 6

23:38 GMT – Tear gas as protesters gather in downtown Beirut

Security forces have fired tear gas to disperse dozens of anti-government protesters calling for the Lebanese government’s resignation near the parliament building in Beirut. 

The state-run National News Agency (NNA) said protesters set fires, vandalised stores and threw stones at security forces, prompting the officers to use tear gas.

Several people were wounded in the clashes, the agency said.

Protest Lebanon

Riot police advance to push back anti-government protesters in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 7, 2020 [Hassan Ammar/ AP]

LEBANON

Anti-government protesters throw stones and clash with riot police in downtown Beirut [Hassan Ammar/ AP]

LEBANON protest

Anti-government protesters call for the resignation of Lebanon’s government [Hassan Ammar/ AP]


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the deadly explosion at Beirut port. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives. 



SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies





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