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Lebanon Maronite Patriarch calls on government to resign over Beirut blast

Lebanon's Christian Maronite Patriarch Beshara Al-Rai in Istanbul, Turkey on 31 March 2011 [BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images]
Lebanon's Christian Maronite Patriarch Beshara Al-Rai in Istanbul, Turkey on 31 March 2011 [BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images]

Lebanon’s Christian Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai yesterday called on the Lebanese government to resign as it cannot “change the way it governs” the country and help it recover from the massive explosions that hit Beirut port last week.

Al-Rai also called for an international investigation into the blasts, which he described as “crimes against humanity”.

According to Al-Rai, countries that have been providing Lebanon with generous aid have the right to know why such large amounts of explosive material was stored in a sensitive place for six years. Those responsible should be held to account, he continued, irrelevant of their rank.

Last Tuesday, 158 people were killed, and more than 6,000 others wounded when a massive explosion hit the port of Beirut. Authorities say the blast was triggered by a fire in a port warehouse where a huge shipment of hazardous ammonium nitrate had been stored since 2014.

READ: Lebanon envoy resigns as Beirut blasts highlight gov’t ‘negligence’

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