Dozens hurt in Beirut clashes on port explosion anniversary
Memorials turned into protests on the one-year anniversary marking enormous explosion that devastated Lebanon’s capital.
Dozens of people have been injured in Lebanon’s capital when police clashed with protesters demanding accountability and justice for a devastating explosion at Beirut’s port last year.
Scuffles in central Beirut broke out between riot police and stone-lobbing demonstrators on Wednesday, a short distance from the main event marking the tragedy’s first anniversary.
Protesters lit a fire and tried to storm the parliament’s headquarters, whose members have been accused of stalling a probe into the disaster. Riot police responded by firing tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and water canon and urging “peaceful protesters” to leave.
Shortly afterwards, Lebanese television appeared to show a tank moving in to the area.
The Red Cross, which dispatched 21 ambulances and 100 paramedics, said it brought eight people to hospital and had treated dozens more on-site.
Shortly after 6pm (15:00 GMT) on August 4, 2020, a stock of ammonium nitrate fertilizer haphazardly stored at the city’s port exploded and left swathes of the Lebanese capital looking like a war zone.
One year on, no senior official has been held to account. A domestic investigation has yet to yield significant arrests or even identify a culprit, with political leaders widely accused of obstructing justice.