Beirut explosion: Lebanese security fires tear gas at protesters as fury mounts

  • Beirut explosion: Lebanese security fires tear gas at protesters as fury mounts

Beirut explosion: Lebanese security fires tear gas at protesters as fury mounts

US President Donald Trump has said he will join a conference call with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and other world leaders on Sunday to discuss aid to Lebanon.

The blast at Beirut's port killed more than 150 and devastated swaths of the city, as rescuers continue to desperately comb the rubble for survivors.

Beirut has received a stream of global assistance since the blast, and on Thursday hosted French President Emmanuel Macron, who pressed Lebanese leaders for deep reform ahead of an aid conference planned in the coming days.

The Lebanese people are demanding answers as rescue teams pulled more bodies from the rubble of Beirut's port on Friday, almost three days after a massive explosion sent a wave of destruction through the capital.

Documents suggest that several government agencies knew about the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored at a warehouse in Beirut port for six years.

He pledged "swift justice", but rejected widespread calls for an worldwide probe, telling a reporter he saw it as an attempt to "dilute the truth". Some officials have said fix work had begun recently on the warehouse, others say they suspect fireworks were stored nearby.

More than 300,000 people were displaced, almost 150 killed and thousands were wounded.

On Friday, relief flights from Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates landed in Lebanon, following others from France, Kuwait, Qatar and Russian Federation.

The World Health Organisation, meanwhile, called for $15 million (S$20.5 million) to cover immediate health needs.

The agency also said the suit, which is the first of its kind, could lead to similar legal action from others.

So far only one member of parliament and the ambassador to Jordan have quit in response to the blast, which many Lebanese say is the result of decades of corruption and mismanagement.

Lebanon's hospitals, already strained by rising coronavirus cases and a severe economic crisis, were heavily damaged by the blast and overwhelmed by casualties.

"The number of dead is 154, including 25 who have not yet been identified", the official told the AFP news agency.

Lebanese president says blast probe looking into possible "external interference" in addition to simple negligence or an accident.

The measures did not dampen the anger in Beirut's streets, where dozens of demonstrators scuffled with security forces late Thursday drawing a volley of tear gas.