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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanon judge issues 2 new arrest warrants over Beirut blast

Two more have been arrested in relation to the explosion in Beirut [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 August, 2020

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The explosion at the Beirut port caused the deaths of over 170 people, made some 300,000 homeless and caused billions of dollars in damages.




A Lebanese judge leading investigations into Beirut's port blast issued two new arrest warrants on Friday, a judicial source told AFP.

"The investigating judge, Fadi Sawan, continued his investigations... and today issued two arrest warrants," the source said.

According to the official National News Agency, the subjects of the warrants are Beirut's customs authority director, Hanna Fares, and Nayla al-Hajj, an engineer contracted for maintenance work at warehouse 12, where the explosion took place.

A huge stock of ammonium nitrate stored unsecured for years in the rundown warehouse at the Lebanese capital's port exploded on August 4.

The blast caused severe damage across swathes of the city, killed at least 181 people and injured more than 6,500.

Read more: Abandoned and forgotten, the Beirut explosion leaves Lebanon's migrant workers more vulnerable than ever

Lebanon has launched an investigation into the disaster, which many have blamed on official negligence and corruption.

So far arrest warrants have been issued for six of the 25 people currently facing lawsuits over the blast, including Beirut Port director-general Hassan Koraytem and customs director-general, Badri Daher.

While authorities have rebuffed widespread calls for an international probe, Lebanon's investigation is being aided by foreign experts, including from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

France, which counted among the dead several of its citizens, has launched its own enquiry.

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