Protesters demand justice over Beirut explosion; Police fire tear gas


Police in Beirut fired teargas and rubber bullets at thousands of people who had turned out to demand accountability for one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions the world has seen.

Tuesday’s explosion has left at least 158 people dead, while about 6,000 people were injured and at least 60 people are still missing according to the latest government figures. Around 300,000 people remain homeless.

There are also reports of gunfire being heard from Beirut’s central Martyrs’ Square.

Many are furious at the failure to prevent the explosion of thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate.

The explosion was caused by a huge stock of ammonium nitrate that had been seized from a ship six years ago but never moved. The government has promised to find those responsible.

The blast at the port devastated parts of the city and has reignited deep-seated anger with the government.

People gathered from early afternoon in the central square where activists have erected a mock gallows for the country’s top politicians.

The protesters chanted: “The people want the fall of the regime,” and held posters saying: “Leave, you are all killers.”

Two ministers who attempted to visit badly damaged neighbourhoods in recent days were chased out.