An explosive statement. Three days after the explosions that devastated Beirut, and while the very origin of the detonation is still unclear, Lebanese President Michel Aoun publicly mentioned the hypotheses of "negligence" or "a missile".
As a reminder, if we now know that the gigantic explosion that blew up the port is due to a fire in a warehouse where 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored for six years, we still do not know what happened. caused this fire.
"A missile or a bomb"
"It is possible that it was caused by negligence or by external action, with a missile or a bomb," said the head of state in an interview with journalists, three days after the disaster, who has left more than 150 dead and 5,000 injured, tens of people missing and hundreds of thousands homeless.
This is the first time a Lebanese official has raised an outside lead in the blast affair, with authorities so far claiming it was caused by a fire at a massive ammonium nitrate depot.
In the aftermath of the explosion, tens of thousands of social media posts openly suspected Israel, even though there is no known evidence to date to support the thesis of an attack.
Review a "paralyzed" political system
The day after President Macron's visit, Michel Aoun also deemed it necessary to review the country's political system. "We are facing a review of our consensus-based system because it is paralyzed and does not allow decisions to be taken that can be implemented quickly: they must be consensual and go through several authorities", said the president, already reviled by a large part of the Lebanese public opinion, and which is even more so after the appalling explosion of the port of Beirut.
The 85-year-old head of state added that he “personally” asked French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, whom he received at the presidential palace, “to provide us with aerial images so that we can determine whether there was planes in (air) space or missiles ”at the time of the explosion on Tuesday.
"If these images are not available among the French, we will ask other countries," added Michel Aoun, who however rejected the idea of an international investigation into the circumstances of the tragedy.
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International solidarity is also being organized, with $ 15 million in medicines and food announced by Washington on Friday. The European institutions will also participate in a donors' conference organized "in the coming days" by France in order to mobilize emergency humanitarian aid for the population of Beirut.
Beirut: the explosion damage seen from the sky