Syria & Lebanon

Lebanon Maronite Patriarch reiterates call for an international probe into Beirut blast

Lebanon’s Christian Maronite Patriarch Beshara Al-Rai yesterday reiterated his demand for an international investigation into the Beirut port explosion which killed nearly 200 people and wounded thousands more, Anadolu reported.

Speaking at the 40-day memorial service dedicated to the victims of the explosion, Al-Rai said: “The confusion in the local investigation, the conflicting information, the increasing doubts about the cause of the explosion and the negligence of those responsible are pushing us to call again for an independent international investigation.”

“Justice does not contradict with sovereignty and there is no sovereignty without justice, and if the authorities, for political reasons, reject the international investigation, then it is the United Nations’ duty to impose it because what happened is close to a crime against humanity,” he said.

Al-Rai stressed that “Lebanon, with its active neutrality, is a necessity in this Levantine environment”, adding that the protesters’ demands are being distorted, and the protesters are being attacked while the heart of Beirut is being sabotaged to prevent its prosperity.

Nearly 200 people were killed, 6,000 were injured and some 300,000 made homeless after a massive explosion in Beirut port ripped through the capital on 4 August. The blast destroyed parts of the city and intensified the economic and political distress which has engulfed Lebanon for months.

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