LIVE: Lebanon rescue ops continue as blast price hits 137

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Rescue operations continued as members of the Lebanese Red Cross, army soldiers and volunteers searched for people listed missing under the rubble in areas near the port.

Officials said the death toll from the explosion killing at least 137 people and injuring 5,000 more, was expected to rise.

Investigators in Lebanon probing the deadly blast that ripped across Beirut were that specialize in possible negligence within the storage of tonnes of a highly explosive fertiliser during a waterfront warehouse, while the govt ordered the confinement of several port officials.

Lebanon’s cabinet declared a two-week state of emergency within the capital and handed control of security within the city to the military.

Thursday, August 6
10:35 GMT – Druze leader Jumblatt urges international probe into Beirut port blast
Lebanon’s leading Druze politician Walid Jumblatt involved a world investigation into the Beirut port explosion and said he had “no trust” within the government to seek out out the reality about it.

“We haven’t any trust in the least during this ruling gang,” said Jumblatt, whose party has lawmakers in parliament but isn’t within the cabinet, which took office in January with backing from the Hezbollah movement and its allies.

If not for the assistance of foreign states and therefore the Arab region, “Lebanon would disappear”, he said, calling for “a government of neutrality.”

09:52 GMT – French President says Lebanon needs reforms or will suffer more
French President Emmanuel Macron said Lebanon was facing a political and depression , which it might still suffer unless it enacted reforms.

Macron was chatting with reporters in Beirut, after his plane touched down at the beginning of a politician visit following Tuesday’s deadly warehouse explosion within the Lebanese capital.

Ahead of his arrival, an advisor to Macron said: “The aim of the president’s visit is to belie the thought that Lebanon is alone, sunk and close to disappear.

“It are going to be an event to undertake to offer hope to the Lebanese, tell them there is a way, which France is there to steer alongside them.”

Another source on the brink of the president made clear Macron expected action from Lebanon’s leaders.

09:47 GMT – EU Commission able to help Lebanon with preferential trade
The European Commission is prepared to assist Lebanon with preferential trade and customs backing, the top of the EU executive said after a call with Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

“The Commission stood able to explore the way to boost our trade relations during this challenging time, especially within the sort of further preferential trade and customs facilitation,” Ursula von der Leyen said during a statement.

She also offered the EU’s help in assessing Beirut’s reconstruction and Lebanon’s recovery, also as support in discussions with international financial institutions to unlock further aid .

The 27-country bloc has deployed quite 100 firefighters, a military vessel for medevac and activated its Copernicus Satellite mapping system to assist assess the damage.

09:30 GMT – a minimum of four Bangladeshis killed in Beirut blast
At least four Bangladeshis were killed and 80 others were wounded, Bangladesh’s Foreign Ministry said during a statement.

Twenty-one Bangladesh Navy crewmen were among the injured, as a Bangladeshi naval ship at the Beirut port was damaged.

According to government data, around 150,000 Bangladeshis are currently working within the Mediterranean country.

09:19 GMT – Bangladesh to send food and medical care
Bangladesh announced it had been sending emergency food and medical care to the Lebanese capital Beirut within the wake of a deadly explosion.

The country “has decided to send food items, medical equipment, and medical teams to Lebanon, Bangladesh’s Foreign Ministry said during a statement.

The decision follows a Wednesday call during which Bangladeshi secretary of state A.K. Abdul Momen expressed his condolences to his Lebanese counterpart Charbel Wehbe on the victims of Tuesday’s deadly blast.

09:11 GMT – Lebanon gives investigating committee four days to seek out culprits
The government of Lebanon has given an “investigative committee” four days to work out responsibility for the devastating explosion in Beirut port on Tuesday, secretary of state Charbel Wehbe told French radio.

“This morning, a choice was taken to make an investigative committee which in four days maximum must provide an in depth report on responsibility – how, who, what, where? there’ll be judicial decisions,” he told Europe 1 radio.

“It is serious, and that we take it seriously,” Wehbe said.

“Those liable for this horrible crime of negligence are going to be punished by a committee of judges,” he added.

Source: aljazeera

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