A sources told Lebanese TV station MTV that the FBI investigation considers the Beirut port explosion a deliberate crime, not an accident.
No further details were reported
FBI completed its investigation and its investigators headed back to the US with samples for further evaluation and testing to determine the cause of the blast . It did not officially announce the results of its investigation.
The Lebanese authorities claim that they did not yet get the reports of the American or French investigators who had visited the scene of the explosion several times to help the Lebanese authorities with their investigation.
On 4 August 2020, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of the city of Beirut exploded, causing about 200 deaths , 6,500 injuries, US$12-15 billion in property damage, and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless.
Around 2,750 tonnes of the substance (equivalent to around 1.1 kilotons of TNT) had been stored in a warehouse without proper safety measures for the previous seven years, after having been confiscated by the Lebanese authorities from the abandoned ship MV Rhosus.
The explosion was preceded by a fire in the same warehouse, but as of October 2020, the exact cause of the detonation is still under investigation.
The explosion was felt in Turkey, Syria, Israel, Palestine and parts of Europe, and was heard in Cyprus, more than 250 km (160 mi) away. It was detected by the United States Geological Survey as a seismic event of magnitude 3.3, and is considered one of the most powerful non-nuclear explosions in history.
Lebanese Judge Ghassan Oweidat, revealed that in addition to the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, kerosene, gas oil, 25 tons of fireworks and detonators for use in mines were also present in the same warehouse.
25 people are believed to be detained in connection with the investigation into the explosion. Among them, the director of the port of Beirut, Hassan Koraytem, as well as the director of the Lebanese customs services Badri Daher, a close ally of president Michel Aoun and his son-in-law Gebran Bassil. Both were reportedly indicted by the investigating judge Fadi Sawwan, who is in charge of the investigation from the Lebanese side.
Despite calls for an International investigation President Aoun and his Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group rejected the idea . Aoun called it a waste of time .
In its aftermath, protests erupted across Lebanon against the government for their failure to prevent the disaster, joining a larger series of protests which have been taking place in the country since October 2019. On 10 August 2020, Prime Minister Hassan Diab and the Lebanese cabinet resigned due to mounting political pressure exacerbated by the event, though Diab remains a caretaker prime minister until a new government is formed.
The government-owned Port of Beirut serves as the main maritime entry point into Lebanon and a vital piece of infrastructure for the importation of scarce goods. The Beirut Naval Base is a part of the port . The port had grain silos with a total capacity of 120,000 tonnes that served as a strategic reserve of cereals for the country.
Ya Libnan MTV
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