Araweelo News Network
Beirut(ANN)- Lebanese President Michel Aoun says a deliberate act of vandalism may have caused the latest fire in Beirut port, which came a month after a massive blast, which killed more than 190 people and injured thousands in the Lebanese capital.
“Any mistake of any kind that leads to such a fire is no longer acceptable, especially after the disaster caused by the first blaze,” President Aoun said, referring to the massive fire that broke out at Beirut port engulfing a warehouse storing engine oil, vehicle tires, and food aid on Thursday.
The Lebanese army says the military police have started investigations into the fresh fire upon the notice of the public military prosecution.
The Lebanese president said the fire has been caused by either sabotage or negligence. The exact cause of the fire is not known yet.
“The fire could be an intentional act of sabotage, the result of a technical error, ignorance, or negligence. In all cases, the cause needs to be known as soon as possible, and those responsible held to account,” Aoun said on Thursday.
The blaze reportedly erupted in the duty free zone of the port.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said its humanitarian operations risked serious disruption as the fire hit the warehouse containing its food aid.
Fabrizio Carboni, ICRC Regional Director for Near and Middle East, tweeted that 500,000 litres of cooking oil, as well as food parcels, were stored at the site.
Videos circulating on social media showed port workers running away in fear as soon as the fire broke out, a chilling reminder of last month’s blast that killed dozens of port employees and 10 firefighters.
On August 4, a fire at a warehouse in Beirut’s port ignited thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate causing a massive blast that also wounded more than 6,500. Up to 300,000 people were left homeless and much of the downtown areas of the city suffered major damage.
A Lebanese political party accused the US and Israel of being behind the explosion at the capital Beirut’s port.
“Beirut port was blown up by American and Israeli spy services,” Najah Wakim, president of the People’s Movement, told Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network.
“The FBI, the US’s criminal investigation organization, has announced a probe into the August 4 explosion in order to hide the reality that lies behind the blast,” he added.
Future will prove Washington’s role in the tragedy, Wakim added, saying the Americans sent French President Emanuel Macron to Lebanon to prevent the implementation of an innovative Russo-Chinese intervention in the aftermath of the explosion.
Macron first visited Beirut soon after the explosion and paid another visit to the city last Tuesday, dishing out ultimatums to the Lebanese officials to implement “reforms” or face “sanctions.”
The explosion has been followed by serious other upheavals in the country, including thousands-strong rallies, attempts by protesters to break into the parliament, and the resignation of the entire government of former prime minister Hasan Diab.