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In The Face Of Crisis…

Beirut has lost its apparent peace and calm, and tranquil atmosphere, following the devastating explosion at its port area. Thousands of people took to the streets in central Beirut on August 8, demanding a proper investigation of the August 4 incident. In the afternoon of August 4, two simultaneous explosions occurred at the port of the Lebanese capital. The second explosion was extremely powerful, and caused at least 220 deaths, 7,000 injuries, USD 10-15 billion in property damage, apart from leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless! Some protesters tried to break through the security cordon of the Parliament building. The Security Forces were forced to use tear gas to disperse them. While the concerned authorities claimed that around 22 protesters were taken to hospital, the media reported that at least 87 protesters were being treated…

As the explosions badly damaged the main port, Lebanon has started facing acute food and medicine crisis. The West Asian nation can manage just six weeks with the current stock of food grains. In such a situation, India has extended a helping hand to Lebanon. Suhel Ajaz Khan, the Indian Ambassador to Lebanon, has said that New Delhi would soon send food grains and medicines to Beirut. Khan also said that as nearly 4,000 Indians were living in Lebanon, the Government of India would provide the friendly nation with all sorts of help. While US President Donald Trump has held a video conference with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron to discuss the current situation in Lebanon, Turkey has announced that it would rebuild the Lebanese port.

Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi recently claimed that the blast was caused by the detonation of more than 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in a cargo ship, named ‘MV Rhosus’. The ship has been docked in that port for about seven years! Meanwhile, the ship’s former Captain Boris Prokoshev has revealed the most mysterious thing. He heard that the vessel had drowned in 2015-16! However, experts, after analysing the satellite images, have come to know that nothing such happened with the Russian-leased Moldovan cargo ship. It sailed from Georgia to Mozambique for the last time. However, it changed its route and reached Lebanon in 2013. Since then, the ship, with a cargo of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, has openly been docked there. The protesters want an explanation of this!

So far, the Police have detained 16 people for their alleged involvement in the explosion. And, the Government of Lebanon has resigned after accepting the responsibility, leaving the country in a fresh turmoil…

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