Lebanese Cabinet Resigns After Mounting Pressure

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Lebanese Cabinet Resigns After Mounting Pressure

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After pressure in the aftermath of the devastating blast in Beirut killing at least 160 people and injuring around 6000, the Lebanese cabinet has officially resigned on Monday, 10 August, 2020.

Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan informed the press of the resignation after a cabinet meeting on the same day. Hassan also stated that Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab would be handing in the resignation on behalf of the ministers at the presidential palace.

The cabinet, which was formed in January of this year, met on Monday, 10 August, with many ministers in attendance intending to resign. Anti-government protests have been taking place over the past days with protesters storming a number of ministries, demanding the resignation of the government.

The blast came as a last straw to the struggling people of Lebanon amid a financial crisis, political discord and turmoil, and a rising number of coronavirus cases.

The blast, which took place on 4 August at Beirut Port and inflicted wide-spread damage on the city, is said to have been caused by a fire that ignited a massive stockpile of over 2000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive substance.

Initial investigations suggest that safety measures around this substance were insufficient, leading to the disastrous consequences witnessed in Beirut. In spite of this, US President Donald Trump hinted that there may be foul play involved. While Trump continues to push for transparent investigations into the blast, three members of the US Defense Department contradicted his claim.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi expressed his condolences to the Lebanese people, and three planes carrying aid have been sent from Egypt to Lebanon since the blast. Three of the fatalities in the blast are confirmed to be Egyptian, and the bodies were repatriated for burial on 8 August.

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