Lebanese authorities seize 20 tons of ammonium nitrate

Lebanese authorities seize 20 tons of ammonium nitrate in east Lebanon
2 min read
18 September, 2021
Twenty tons of ammonium nitrate was seized in eastern Lebanon last night and transported safely to a nearby area, Lebanon's official National News Agency reported.
The fertiliser was seized in a Baalbek warehouse overnight Saturday before being moved to nearby Bednayel [AFP/Getty]

Lebanese authorities seized 20 tons of ammonium nitrate in an eastern region overnight on Saturday, local media reported.

The ammonium nitrate was seized in a police raid from a warehouse used for the sale of agricultural fertilisers in the city of Baalbek, belonging to someone whose full name was not identified, the official National News Agency said.

Newly appointed Interior Minister Bassam al-Mawlawi inspected the truck that was transported from Baalbek to a safe area in Bednayel in the same district.

"I am here to follow up on investigations and not reveal anything, and I will not reveal the names of any detainees," Mawlawi told reporters.

He gave orders to the internal security forces to sweep the area and make sure none of the chemicals were being stored elsewhere, as well as not to let the seized quantities be exposed to any heat or sunlight.

No further information was given on where the truck was heading to or where it came from.

The chemical compound is predominantly used in agriculture as a high nitrogen fertiliser, but can also be used in the manufacture of explosives.

Thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate improperly stored at the port of Beirut exploded on August 4 last year, killing more than 200 people and wounding thousands. The blast inflicted heavy damage on large swathes of the capital.