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At least 10 killed, hundreds injured in Beirut blast

In Summary

• Two security sources and witness said the blast occurred in the port area containing warehouses.

•The blast rippled through several areas of the capital, shattering windows and doors, and wounding people.

Smoke rises in Beirut, Lebanon August 4, 2020.
Smoke rises in Beirut, Lebanon August 4, 2020.
Image: REUTERS

A large explosion shook the Lebanese capital Beirut, killing at least 10 people as a giant column of smoke was seen rising over the city.

 

Two security sources and witness said the blast occurred in the port area containing warehouses. The blast rippled through several areas of the capital, shattering windows and doors, and wounding people.

Lebanon's internal security chief Abbas Ibrahim said that the massive blast in Beirut's port area occurred in a section housing highly-explosive materials, and not explosive as had been reported earlier by the official state news agency NNA.

 

Speaking to reporters in televised remarks, he declined to speculate about the cause of the explosion in Lebanon's capital, saying "we cannot preempt investigations". 

The U.S. State Department is closely following the situation and stands ready to offer 'all possible assistance', a spokesperson for the agency said.

The Department has no information about the cause of the explosion, the spokesperson said and added that the agency is working closely with local authorities to determine if any U.S. citizens were affected in the incident.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, "The pictures and videos from Beirut tonight are shocking. All of my thoughts and prayers are with those caught up in this terrible incident."

"The UK is ready to provide support in any way we can, including to those British nationals affected."