Riots against government in Beirut: 110 protesters injured

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The protesters chanted, “The people want the government to fall,” a well-known slogan during the Arab Spring, ten years ago. Large groups confront the security forces and throw stones. According to the Red Cross, at least 110 protesters have been injured.

Explosion

They hold the government responsible for the massive explosion in the port of the Lebanese capital. According to the latest figures, 158 people were killed and more than 6000 people were injured.

At least 300,000 people are homeless, because entire districts are in ruins. According to experts, the explosion had the power of “a small atomic bomb.”

The explosion was likely caused when a fire in the harbor spilled over to a warehouse that held an enormous amount of ammonium nitrate, without proper safety precautions. Ammonium nitrate is used for fertilizer, but it is extremely explosive at high temperatures. For example, it is also used in mining.

The protesters hold the government responsible for the mismanagement, which allowed this dangerous situation to persist for years. The 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate had been stored in the warehouse since 2013. The authorities had been made aware of the danger before but did not intervene.

Aid organizations

The reaction of the government after the disaster also aroused a lot of anger among the inhabitants of Beirut. Help for the hundreds of thousands of homeless people must come from private aid organizations, hardly any help comes from the government.

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