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Lebanese mark two months since Beirut Port blast with commemorative balloons and angry protests Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Lebanese mark two months since Beirut Port blast with commemorative balloons and angry protests

Families demand accountability over August 4 explosion that killed at least 200 people. [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 October, 2020

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Families of Beirut blast victims took to the streets to express anger at the government’s failure to provide answers to the disaster.
Families of the Port of Beirut blast victims held a commemoration ceremony to mark the two month anniversary of the deadly blast on Sunday, amid emotional scenes.

Relatives and friends of the victims launched balloons from the explosion site in rememberance of the event, when a warehouse storing highly-explosive chemicals was detonated after a fire.

They expressed anger at authorities' failure to reveal the circumstances of the blast and how it came to happen.

The 4 August explosion killed at least 200 people and wounded over 6,000 in addition to displacing thousands of Beirut residents and left entire neighbourhoods destroyed.

Two months later, Lebanon was unable to conclude its investigation and hold people to account for the explosion, believed to have been caused by some 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate.

Protesters cut off roads to demand answers from the government, while holding banners and pictures of their deceased loved ones.

Read also: Quarter of Beirut children could miss school after blast

"We are ready to escalate! There are 200 families who lost someone, and 6,500 families who have had someone injured. If all these people decide to block a road where they live, we can paralyse the country," Brahim Hotai, who lost a brother in the blast, told FRANCE 24.

Lebanon has declined requests for an international probe into the country's worst peace-time disaster, but is conducting its own investigation into the matter, with the aid of experts - namely from the US and France.

So far, 25 people have been arrested as part of the investigation, which has not yet publicly released information regarding the parties responsible.

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