Exactly one week after deadly Beirut blast, Lebanon observes one-minute silence for victims

Exactly one week after deadly Beirut blast, Lebanon observes one-minute silence for victims
Lebanese observed a minute's silence at 6:08 PM on Tuesday, exactly one week after the massive explosion at the Beirut port that killed more than 200 people.
2 min read
11 August, 2020
The deadly blast occurred at 6:08 PM last Tuesday [Twitter]
Lebanon observed a minute's silence on Tuesday evening, exactly one week to the minute after a massive explosion broke out at the Beirut port, killing more than 200 people.

Protesters in the capital marked the deadly blast at 6:08 PM local time (4:08 PM GMT), the exact time when a 2,750 tonne store of ammonium nitrate erupted last week.

Mosques and churches also took part, letting bells ring out and reciting the Muslim call for prayer at the same moment.

The devastating explosion ripped through Beirut, destroying or damaging tens of thousands of buildings, leaving around 300,000 homeless and injuring thousands. The death toll, which has continued to increase since last week, currently stands at 220.

Read more: Lebanon blast: political game changer or hollow blow?

On Tuesday, Lebanese social media users shared images of analogue clocks, damaged in the blast and since frozen at 6:08 PM.

It was the moment, many have said, that Beirut changed forever.

The blast has intensified anger against the Lebanese government and entrenched political elite, long accused of corruption, mismanagement and malfeasance.

Documents revealed following the explosion show the highest of authorities knew about the unstable store of ammonium nitrate at the port in July.

Customs and port officials had alerted the judiciary of the dangerous storage of the substance years earlier.

Protests following the explosion have reportedly been met with tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and live ammunition.

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned in the wake of the blast on Monday, but demonstrators remain uncertain whether the explosion will lead to genuine political change.

A protest movement that began in October last year unseated the former prime minister but the political elite widely seen as responsible for the explosion through negligence has remained powerful.

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