Lebanon leaders 'warned about explosives' weeks before Beirut blast
Lebanon's President Michel Aoun and now-resigned Prime Minister Hassan Diab were both warned about the danger posed by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at the port prior the explosion, a report said.
Lebanese security officials warned the president and premier last month that the industrial chemicals posed a security risk and could destroy the capital if it exploded, Reuters said in a report on Monday, citing documents obtained from senior security sources.
A report by the General Directorate of State Security reviewed by Reuters refered to a "private letter" sent to President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Hassan Diab on July 20.
The agency said it could not access the contents of the letter, but cited a confidential security official claiming the letter summed up the findings of an earlier judicial investigation which concluded the chemicals needed to be "secured immediately".
"There was a danger that this material, if stolen, could be used in a terrorist attack," the official told Reuters.
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"I warned them that this could destroy Beirut if it exploded," the official, allegedly involved in the writing of the letter, was quoted as saying.
Another unnamed source representing Diab confirmed to the agency that the former premier had received the letter, but claimed it was referred to the Supreme Defence Council for advice, without further elaborating.
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