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Lebanon releases workers in Beirut port blast case

A view of the Beirut port in the aftermath of the explosion which rocked the Lebanese capital on 4 August 2020, taken on 23 September 2020
A view of the Beirut port in the aftermath of the explosion which rocked the Lebanese capital on 4 August 2020, taken on 23 September 2020 [Charline Bou Mansour/Middle East Monitor]

Lebanese authorities have approved the release of junior workers who were arrested in the case of last year's deadly Beirut's port blast.

The official National News Agency (NNA) reported that the release of 13 workers was ordered by Tarek Bitar, who was named as the judge heading the investigation in February.

The agency added a request to release senior employees was "rejected".

The official agency did not provide details about when the defendants would be released.

Bitar is set to hear the testimonies of five witnesses tomorrow, the NNA reported, citing its correspondent.

READ: Germany to propose Beirut port reconstruction with 'strings attached'

The explosion happened when 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, stored unsafely in Beirut port's warehouse 12 for six years prior to the explosion, ignited on 4 August. Nearly 200 people were killed in the blast which injured thousands more and made at least 300,000 of Beirut residents homeless.

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