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UPDATE - Death toll in huge Beirut explosion rises to 135

UPDATE - Death toll in huge Beirut explosion rises to 135
Nearly 5,000 injured in Tuesday's blast hitting Lebanon's capital, dozens still missing, says health minister


By Ali Semerci and Safiye Karabacak

ISTANBUL (AA) – Death toll in Tuesday’s huge blast that ripped through Lebanon’s capital Beirut has risen to 135, the country’s health minister said on Wednesday.

Nearly 5,000 victims were injured and dozens of them are still missing, Hamad Hassan said.

A fire at a warehouse containing explosives at the Port of Beirut led to a massive blast on Tuesday, causing massive material damage in several neighborhoods of the capital.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun cited ammonium nitrate as the source of the explosion, which leveled a three-story building and was heard across the city and its suburbs.

The Supreme Defense Council in Lebanon has declared Beirut a disaster-stricken city and announced a state of emergency in the capital for two weeks.

Tuesday's explosion deepens woes of the country that has been suffering from a severe economic crisis and intense political polarization for months.

* Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara

source: News Feed
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