Angry mobs gathered near the parliament building and hurled stone at the police, demanding swift change and accountability for the tragic incident which devastated vast swathes of Beirut last Tuesday. Law enforcement officers resorted to tear gas in retaliation.
Later, the Lebanese military managed to drive out all the protesters from the Central Squares and streets adjacent to the parliament in Beirut. Protesters gathered in Beirut’s downtown area attempting to break heavy barricades in the roads and alleyways leading up to the parliament building.
Additional military reinforcement was also sent to drive out the rioters from the Central Martyr’s Square.
Hours earlier, the Lebanese prime minister had officially announced the resignation of his entire government.
Just days after the US Embassy in Beirut encouraged rioters to go for regime change in Lebanon, The Nation revealed in a report a US delegation is headed for Lebanon this week in the aftermath of the tragic incident and the resignation of the prime minister to drive government formation along the lines of the US policy.
The team will be led by US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale, who previously served as ambassador to Lebanon.
The Lebanese capital is gripped by protests over the catastrophic explosion which levelled parts of Beirut last week. The Beirut tragedy came to be a ploy for the anti-government camp to reinvigorate the demonstrations over the economic conditions in Lebanon that faded away from the streets after the coronavirus outbreak.
Following the hearth breaking incident at Beirut port last week, terrifying footage showed a huge mushroom cloud of fire and smoke covering much of Beirut’s port area, blowing out windows and destroying buildings in the neighborhood, as a warehouse at the Beirut docks caught fire on Tuesday afternoon. Photos on social media showed many buildings in the area damaged or destroyed, leaving residents covered in glass and blood.
Several smaller explosions were heard before the bigger one occurred and turned the city’s streets into a debris-strewn wasteland.
The explosions that killed 160 people in Lebanon's capital Beirut left a 43-meter deep crater at the site, according to local reports. The blast at Beirut's port also injured more than 6,000 people and devastated nearly half the buildings in the city. Red Cross volunteers at the scene of the explosion declared they expect the death toll to rise.
Lebanese rescue workers and army soldiers are struggling to remove huge items of debris in search for possible survivors at Beirut's port. The Lebanese Red Cross believes there are still tens of people missing.
Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud has stated several foreign workers and truck drivers remain missing following the explosion and are assumed to be dead.
In an interview with Al-Jadeed TV station, Abboud noted that many of the fatalities are still unidentified, and that it could take time to complete the identification of the remains.
Health Minister Hamad Hassan blamed the explosion on a fireworks accident, ordering all hospitals in Beirut to prepare for the victims of the incident.
Lebanese General Security Director Abbas Ibrahim has also dismissed rumors of Israeli involvement, noting that a large cache of highly explosive sodium nitrate was stored at the site, after being confiscated off a ship several months ago. He did not explain how the fire has started.