Beirut port blast: Death toll rises to 154, almost 5,000 wounded

Beirut port blast: Death toll rises to 154, almost 5,000 wounded

In his snap visit on Thursday, Macron stressed the need for an global investigation after meeting Lebanese politicians, including representatives of the powerful Shiite Hezbollah movement, whose leader Hasan Nasrallah was scheduled to speak later on Friday.

RESCUE teams pulled more bodies from the rubble of Beirut's port today, three days after a massive explosion sent a wave of destruction through Lebanon's capital, killing almost 150 people and wounding thousands.

Visiting French President Emmanuel Macron told enraged Lebanese who mobbed him in Beirut on Thursday that worldwide aid would not be passed to "corrupt hands".

He added that the funds raised from the conference would be challenged directly to the people ad relief organizations working on the ground.

They included the port's general manager, Hassan Koraytem, a judicial source told AFP.

Dozens of people are still missing, and at the entrance to the port a family waited for news of a relative.

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Meanwhile, the makeshift hospital set up by the Russian team at a stadium near the explosion site said it had treated 12 people since Thursday. Officials have estimated losses at $US10 billion to $US15 billion.

He said that Lebanon was facing the "triple tragedy of the socio-economic crisis, Covid-19 and the ammonium nitrate explosion".

The investigation is focusing on port and customs officials, with 16 employees detained and others questioned.

Anti-government protests resumed in Beirut, Lebanon, on the night of August 6, with clashes between demonstrators and security forces reported as people's anger mounted following the Beirut blast on August 4.

Amid a severe economic crisis, massive unemployment and the coronavirus pandemic, the capital was already struggling before the blast.

Colville also called for the poor and most vulnerable to be respected as Beirut and Lebanon rebuild, and urged Lebanese leaders to "overcome political stalemates and address the grievances of the population".

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