Lebanon Hit By Another Explosion At Suspected Hezbollah Arms Depot
Lebanon has been hit by yet another explosion after a fire broke out at a suspected Hezbollah arms depot in the village of Ain Qana.
It comes less than two months after the country’s capital was devastated by a huge explosion, believed to have been caused when more than 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded after a fire was sparked by a welder, killing at least 190 people and injuring thousands more.
Now, just 30 miles south of Beirut, the country has been rocked by yet another explosion, with footage of the blast – which could be heard miles away – circulating on social media in recent hours.
Clouds of smoke could be seen erupting from the suspected arms depot earlier today, September 22, with security sources saying the explosion was caused by a ‘technical error’.
One source told Reuters several people were injured when the arms depot – which according to the source belongs to the Iran-backed Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah – exploded, although Hezbollah officials are yet to confirm any casualties.
‘This explosion was at a house that stored weapons [and was] result of technical error,’ Al Jazeera‘s Zeina Khodr reported from Beirut. ‘No one was killed or injured. The building belonged to a Hezbollah affiliated de-mining association.’ What exactly that technical error could have been has not yet been specified.
Shortly after the explosion, another source said Hezbollah set up a security cordon in the area, preventing journalists and others from approaching the area.
Footage of the area broadcast on Lebanese TV showed men walking over scorched ground littered with debris, while a house close to the blast site had been significantly damaged. The floor was covered in glass and what appeared to be a pool of blood.
At least one fire was still burning in the area, the footage showed, while one witness near to the village said they felt the ground shake at the time of the explosion.
The blast sent a new shockwave across a nation already struggling with its greatest crisis in decades, and not for the first time; earlier this month, just one month after the Beirut explosion, a huge fire broke out at the very same port.
The previous government resigned following the Beirut explosion, leaving the country’s economy in meltdown with its politicians yet to agree on how to form a new government – with Hezbollah reportedly demanding it names some of the ministers.
Our thoughts are with those affected by the explosion.
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