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  • Anti-government protestors gather near the devastated harbor area to commemorate the victims of the explosion that took place in August 4 in Beirut, Lebanon, 11 August 2020.

    Anti-government protestors gather near the devastated harbor area to commemorate the victims of the explosion that took place in August 4 in Beirut, Lebanon, 11 August 2020. | Photo: EFE/EPA/NABIL MOUNZER

Published 11 August 2020
Opinion

People in Beirut attended a vigil in honor of those who lost their lives in the huge explosion that devastated the Lebanese capital a week ago.

Hundreds of people lit candles and marched through downtown Beirut to the port on Tuesday to remember the nearly 170 victims of the colossal explosion that devastated the Lebanese capital a week ago.

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A crowd stood in silence near the ruins of the city's port as a Muslim call to prayer was broadcast, and church bells tolled at 18:09 (15:09 GMT). That was about the time when an estimated 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely in a port warehouse detonated on August four.

In addition to the deaths, the shockwave injured more than 6,000 people and left more than 250,000 homeless in the Middle Eastern country that was already struggling with an unprecedented economic crisis before the disaster.

This Tuesday's vigil was also a reason to express outrage at a demonstration in which groups of young people clashed again for the fourth consecutive day in front of the Legislative building with a partial toll of 42 injured, according to the Lebanese Red Cross.

"We have lit candles, greeted the members of the Civil Defense, the firefighters, the Red Cross, doctors and all the Lebanese who helped in the streets," said Efe Hamza, a 26-year-old who participated in the call.

The resignation of the Lebanese government led by Prime Minister Hasan Diab on Monday failed to calm the participants in the vigil, who also raised voices against Lebanese President Michel Aoun.

Hassan Diab tendered his resignment on behalf of the cabinet members at the Presidential Palace, after days of intense protests in Beirut against the political and economic crisis that has only worsened with the deflagration.

Diab, who took the reins of Lebanon's Executive on January 21, blamed the last week's blast as the result of endemic corruption in the country. Lebanese President Michel Aoun asked Diab to continue his functions until the nomination of the new government.

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