Hassan Diab, Lebanese Prime minister, announced the resignation of the government on
Monday, stating the massive explosion was that devastated Beirut and caused public outrage was the result of endemic corruption. And he said, his government had been the “victim rumors.”
In a televised address, Prime minister Hassan Dhiab said he backed the call by ordinary Lebanese for those responsible for, quote, this crime to be put on trial. Dhiab made the announcement after the cabinet formed in January with the backing of the powerful Iranian backed Hezbollah group and its allies met on Monday. Many minsters wanted to resign, according to ministerial and political sources. Dhiab said on Saturday he would request early parliamentary elections.
Demonstrations broke out again in central Beirut, with some protesters hurling rocks at security forces guarding an entrance leading to the parliament building responded with tear gas. For many ordinary Lebanese, the explosion was the last straw in a protracted crisis over the collapse of the economy. Corruption, waste, and dysfunctional governance. And they’ve taken to the streets demanding a deep and full change of government.
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The protesters said Beirut politicians should resign and be punished for the negligence that led to the explosion, which killed 158 and injured more than 6,000 compounding months of political and economic meltdown. Activists made symbolic nooses at Beirut’s Martyr’s Square to hang the politicians, whom the protesters accuse of the blast. A demonstrator said over a megaphone, “We are staying here. We call on the Lebanese people to occupy all the ministries.”About 10,000 people gathered for the protest against the government. Security officers fired tear gas when some protesters tried to break through the police barriers that lead to the legislature.
The blast was caused by thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate that had been dangerously stored at Beirut port for more than six years. Triggered by a fire, the devastating explosion was by far the largest in Lebanon’s history and resulted in an estimated $10 billion to 15 billion in damage. The blast damaged 6,200 buildings and left nearly 300,000 homeless.