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Explosion rocks Hezbollah weapons cache in southern Lebanon

Black smoke blankets the sky after a large fire broke out in Lebanon on 10 September 2020 [Mahmut Geldi/Anadolu Agency]
Black smoke blankets the sky after a large fire broke out in Lebanon on 10 September 2020 [Mahmut Geldi/Anadolu Agency]

A Hezbollah-owned weapons cache in southern Lebanon exploded yesterday afternoon as a result of a “technical error”, Al Jazeera reports.

The explosion, according to local media outlets, killed at least four people and injured several others. Hezbollah, however, has denied claims the blast resulted in casualties.

Footage circulating on social media showed large clouds of smoke rising over a residential area. While, images showed the dark clouds hanging over a small cluster of buildings.

Other users shared images and videos showing a decimated, smouldering wreckage, thought to be the site where the explosion took place. Any fire appeared to have been extinguished and locals were seen walking amongst the rubble.

The explosion took place in the southern Lebanese village of Ein Qana, approximately 50 kilometres south of the capital, Beirut, where many residents are still traumatised by the massive blast seven weeks ago.

The 4 August explosion happened when 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate ignited and exploded in Beirut’s port.

The blast left nearly 200 dead and thousands more injured as well as damaging tens of thousands of buildings in the capital.

READ: France still pushing for new Lebanese cabinet after missed deadline

It remains unclear what caused the initial fire which led to last month’s explosion, and though more than 20 have been detained as part of a probe into the blast, so far no one has faced justice.

Meanwhile, a series of fires and lesser explosions have taken place in the port, capital and elsewhere since last month’s explosion, causing widespread panic among Lebanon’s residents who fear a repeat of the devastating blast.

Only yesterday, a fire broke out in the port of Tripoli, Lebanon’s northern capital. Local media reports claimed the fire broke out in a ship maintenance workshop outside Tripoli’s port.

Ahmed Tamer, director of the port, told LCBI a gallon of paint had caused the fire, which was immediately brought under control by local firefighters.

Meanwhile, there were also reports of a warehouse fire in southern Beirut yesterday.

The frequent fires and explosions come as the crisis-hit country is grappling with an economic collapse, the coronavirus pandemic, rising poverty and the aftermath of the 4 August explosion.

READ: Lebanon retrieves four bodies after deadly sea crossing attempt

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