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Beirut Explosion: Joe Biden urges Trump administration to mobilise support for Lebanon

Biden is demanding the Trump administration to step [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 August, 2020

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Joe Biden has called on Donald Trump to immediately assist Lebanon following the deadly explosion in Beirut, which destroyed half of the city.
US presidential hopeful Joe Biden joined a chorus of voices calling for support for Lebanon following a deadly explosion at Beirut's port which killed over 130 people and injured 4,000.

The former vice president took to Twitter to urge US President Donald Trump to immediately send aid to Lebanon as it grapples with billions of dollars worth in damages in a blast that made 300,000 people homeless.

"Our hearts and prayers are with the people of Lebanon, and the victims of the horrific explosion in Beirut. I urge both the Trump Administration and international community to immediately mobilize assistance to the thousands injured in the blast," Biden tweeted.

This comes after US defence officials were forced to reject a claim made by Trump that the explosion was a deliberate act.

Lebanon and most experts believe that the blast occured when 2,750 tonnes of the agricultural fertiliser ammonium nitrate ignited and prompted cries of government negligence.

Anger over negligence

As aid groups descend on Beirut and residents take to the streets to help search for missing people and clean away debris, there is a rising anger among people in Lebanon - and rights groups - about government incompetence.

Lebanon's political elite are attempting to shift blame, but angry residents are having none of it.

Rima Majed, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the American University of Beirut, said in a tweet: "What is happening to us in Lebanon is not an 'accident' and it is not 'unfortunate', it is a deliberate CRIME, one of the biggest in history, and it is ENRAGING!"

"This mafia, every single one of them, is responsible. They are responsible for making this country an open hell... We lost everything, we only have our rage left. Let our rage guide the coming days," Majed continued.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who is in Beirut appeared to echo the Lebanese peoples' calls for government reforms.

Addressing the country he said there should be a new political pact, in words that appear to support the people, not the entrenched government.

As of Wednesday evening, the top trend on Lebanese Twitter was: "#Prepare_the_gallows".

Read more: Beirut Explosion: Be angry, not just sad, for Lebanon

Amnesty International joined calls for an independent probe into the explosion in Lebanon's capital that left scores dead and thousands injured.

The rights group said the investigation should be "free from any potential domestic political interference" in order to assure "truth, justice, and reparations" for the victims.

"Whatever may have caused the explosion, including the possibility of a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely, Amnesty International is calling for an international mechanism to be promptly set up to investigate how this happened," said Julie Verhaar, Acting Secretary General of Amnesty International, in a statement released on Wednesday.



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