Two massive explosions rock Beirut
Two huge explosions rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, killing and wounding dozens of people.
Every shop in the Hamra commercial district had sustained damage, with entire shopfronts destroyed, windows shattered and many cars wrecked.
Injured people were walking in the street, while outside the Clemenceau Medical Centre, dozens of wounded people, many covered in blood, were rushing to be admitted to the center including children.
The blasts were heard as far away as Nicosia on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, 240 kilometres (150 miles) away.
Benjamin Strick, who works with investigations website Bellingcat, said on Twitter that the explosions appeared to have been centered on a 130 metre (420 foot) grey warehouse alongside a dock inside the port zone.
— Zaiنab Hijazi (@zainabhijazi97) August 4, 2020
The explosions also come as Lebanon awaits a UN tribunal’s verdict Friday on the 2005 murder of former Lebanese premier Rafic Hariri, killed in a huge truck bomb attack.
Four alleged members of the Shiite Muslim movement Hezbollah are on trial in absentia at a court in the Netherlands over the huge Beirut bombing that killed Sunni billionaire Hariri and 21 other people.
Tensions have also been high with neighboring Israel, after Israel said it thwarted an infiltration attempt by up to five Hezbollah gunmen, a claim denied by the Lebanon-based and Iran-backed group.