Loathed Lebanese government resigns in wake of public rage

World | 10 Aug 2020 10:45 pm

Lebanon's health minister says the government has resigned over last week's devastating blast at the Beirut port.
The minister, Hamad Hassan, spoke with reporters at the end of a Cabinet meeting on Monday.
He says: "The whole government resigned.''
Hassan also added that Prime Minister Hassan Diab will head to the presidential palace to "hand over the resignation in the name of all the ministers.''

The massive blast on August 4 has brought a new wave of public outrage at the government and Lebanon's long entrenched ruling class. Protests were planned outside the government headquarters to coincide with the Cabinet meeting after large demonstrations over the weekend that saw clashes with security forces firing tear gas at protesters.
The explosion, centered at Beirut port, is believed to have been caused by a fire that ignited a 2,750-ton stockpile of explosive ammonium nitrate. The material had been stored at the port since 2013 with few safeguards despite numerous warnings of the danger.
The result was a disaster Lebanese blame squarely on their leadership's corruption and neglect. The blast killed at least 160 people and wounded about 6,000, in addition to destroying the country's main port and damaging large parts of the capital. Losses from the blast are estimated to be between US$10 billion to US$15 billion, and nearly 300,000 people were left homeless in the immediate aftermath.-AP


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