The Press

Charges laid over blast


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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