Lebanon: Pres. Aoun appeals to world for help in aftermath of Beirut blasts

Lebanese President Michel Aoun appealed for aid from around the world in the aftermath of the explosions in Beirut's port on Wednesday. Aoun also said that the ongoing investigation into the cause of the blasts would make clear the cause of the incident as soon as possible, as he spoke during a meeting of Lebanon's Supreme Defence Council in Baabda. “We are determined to carry on the investigations and reveal the circumstances of the incident as soon as possible, to hold those in charge accountable and severely punish them,» said Aoun. «We will transparently announce the results of the investigations carried out by the relevant committee,” he added. The president also asked countries who have offered aid to «speed up the assistance to support out hospitals and afflicted families, and to repair the destruction of buildings and the port, especially [given] that Lebanon is going through an unprecedented economic crisis.” The blasts which rocked Beirut's port resulted from the still unexplained ignition of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate; a highly-explosive chemical material which reportedly had been stored at a port warehouse without safety measures for years, according to Lebanese PM Hassan Diab. The results of the investigations are expected to be announced during the next 15 days. The latest numbers issued by the Lebanese Red Cross estimate that more than 100 people were killed, and nearly 4000 others wounded in the explosions. Both numbers are likely to rise.
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