US Urges Lebanon to Conduct Swift, Complete Probe Into Beirut Explosion – White House
© AP Photo / Hussein MallaJoana Dagher, 33, who lost her memory for two full months from the trauma she suffered in the massive August explosion at the Beirut port, including a cerebral contusion and brain lesions, takes pictures of the explosion scene from her damaged apartment rooftop, in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021.
© AP Photo / Hussein Malla
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Biden administration urges Lebanese authorities to conduct a swift and complete investigation into the explosion that ripped through the port of Beirut last year, the White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Thursday.
"We urge Lebanese authorities to complete a swift and complete investigation into the explosion at the port in Beirut," Psaki said during a press briefing.
On Thursday, gunfire broke out during a protest held by the Hezbollah group against the judge looking into the 2020 Beirut port blast. As a result, at least six people were killed and over 30 were wounded. The armed forces have arrested nine people in a manhunt for the perpetrators.
A powerful explosion occurred in the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020. At least 280 people died, and more than 6,000 were injured. Hundreds of houses and cars were destroyed or damaged.
24 August 2021, 13:15 GMT
According to the authorities, the explosion resulted from the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate seized by customs in 2014 and stored in a warehouse. The Lebanese capital was declared a disaster area.
To date, the investigation has not been able to discover all the circumstances of the tragedy and identify the perpetrators. At the same time, the authorities are still not ruling out that the tragedy occurred as a result of deliberate detonation, and not negligence, as established by the official preliminary probe.