Beirut : The breath of the explosion was unimaginable - The Point

The scene is apocalyptic. Cars sunk into the ground. Of the survivors who are trying to carve a path between the countless debris. A thick cloud of smoke that c

Beirut : The breath of the explosion was unimaginable - The Point

The scene is apocalyptic. Cars sunk into the ground. Of the survivors who are trying to carve a path between the countless debris. A thick cloud of smoke that clouds the air and a deafening noise and incessant. Lebanon is in shock after the twin explosion, which struck on Tuesday in the late afternoon, the port of Beirut, in the east of the capital. "The blast of the explosion was unimaginable, much stronger than the attack that has claimed the life of former Prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005," explains Hassan*, an inhabitant of the capital, who lives one kilometre from the port of Beirut. "All the doors of my apartment were torn down. All the windows were broken. It is mind-blowing ! ".

A new balance sheet reports of 50 deaths and 2,750 injured, according to a preliminary estimate by the ministry of health. This Tuesday night, many of the victims were headed on foot to the hospitals of the capital, already overwhelmed by the influx of wounded people. According to the videos broadcast on the social networks, a first explosion hit a building located in the port area of Beirut, causing a popping sound. According to the national news agency NNA, a fire would have first of all declared in a deposit of fireworks before the first explosion.

Explosives

and Then a second explosion, much more powerful, shook the area, causing a large cloud, as well as a terrible shock wave. "It was first believed to be an earthquake," says Nadine*, another resident of the capital. "The explosion was devastating and the extent of the damage shows that it is surely related to explosives and weapons ", she says. The double blast was heard for miles round. This evening on the scene of the incident, the director general of general Security, Abbas Ibrahim, has spoken of the presence of materials very explosive. "It seems that there is a warehouse containing materials seized for years, and it would appear that it was material very explosive ", he said to tv lebanese.

Vital for the economy of Lebanon, which imports a large part of the food that he consumes, the port of Beirut remains under the control of Hezbollah, the only lebanese group that kept its weapons after the civil war (1975-1990). "It is absolutely criminal to store firearms in urban centres such as Beirut, with such a high density of population," says a lebanese businessman, who wishes to remain anonymous. The majority in the government, in the company of the christians of the Current patriotic free, the "party of God" is currently engaged in a military escalation with the State of Israel.

the shadow of The Hezbollah

Determined to avenge the death of one of its fighters, killed in an israeli Raid in Syria last July 20, the islamist movement, whose military wing is considered a terrorist one by the european Union, is accused by Israel of having tried to ask Sunday bombs at the border of the syro-israeli. A week ago, the Idf had claimed to have repelled a commando unit of Hezbollah, who had attempted to cross the border between Lebanon and Israel. For its part, israel has denied being linked to the double explosion on Tuesday, according to the Reuters news agency.

Read also The Hezbollah and Israel flirt with war

If the mystery around the origin of the double explosion on Tuesday, remains, pending the outcome of the investigation, one thing is for sure : the huge damage caused by the incident will further undermine the country's economy, already suffering. Last march, Lebanon has entered for the first time in its history, in default of payment, with a debt amounting to 92 billion dollars of debt, that is 170 % of its gross domestic Product (GDP). And Nadine to predict : "With the crisis, people no longer have the means to rebuild everything that fell apart today."

Read also The impossible assistance of the France in Lebanon

*the names of The witnesses interviewed from Beirut have been changed for security reasons.

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Updated Date: 04 August 2020, 16:33

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