Two years after the Beirut explosion, the Christian patriarch challenges the government

Two years after the Beirut explosion, the Christian patriarch challenges the government

(Reuters) – Lebanon’s top Christian cleric on Thursday denounced his country’s government for failing to bring those responsible for the Beirut port explosion to justice, demanding accountability on the second anniversary of the Blast.

During a mass in memory of the victims, Bechara Boutros al-Rai said that “God condemns those responsible” who obstruct investigations that the government “has no right” to block.

The explosion, which killed at least 220 people and is one of the biggest non-nuclear disasters in history, was caused by massive stocks of ammonium nitrate kept at the site since 2013.

Two years later, no senior official has been implicated.

A national investigation into the exact causes of the explosion – and responsibility or negligence related to the presence of ammonium nitrate – has been stalled for more than six months.

There is still no official report on the number of victims. Two security sources told Reuters they counted at least 220 dead, with at least 20 others missing, mostly Syrian nationals.

(Maya Gebeily report, French version Augustin Turpin, edited by Jean-Michel Bélot)

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