The Press

Charges laid over blast

- Crime · Disasters · Hezbollah

A Le­banese prose­cu­tor has filed charges against cur­rent and for­mer cus­toms of­fi­cials over the mas­sive ex­plo­sion at Beirut’s port in Au­gust. They in­clude for­mer cus­toms chief Moussa Haz­imeh, whowas re­port­edly the point man for Is­lamist­mil­i­tant group Hezbol­lah at the portwhen nearly 3000 tonnes of highly ex­plo­sive fer­tiliser were stored there more than six years ago. The am­mo­nium ni­trate blewup on Au­gust 4, killing more than 200 peo­ple and in­jur­ing thou­sands, and caus­ing dam­age worth bil­lions of dol­lars. The port is con­sid­ered one of the most cor­rupt in­sti­tu­tions in the coun­try, where rul­ing po­lit­i­cal fac­tions have divvied up po­si­tions and cre­ated fief­doms. A to­tal of 33 peo­ple have now­been charged in con­nec­tion with the ex­plo­sion, of whom 25 are un­der ar­rest.

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