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World News

Lebanon's army finds firework cache at devastated Beirut port

FILE PHOTO: A volunteer digs through the rubble of buildings which collapsed due to the explosion at the port area, after signs of life were detected, in Gemmayze, Beirut, Lebanon September 5, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon’s army said it had found 1.3 tonnes of fireworks during a search of Beirut port, which was devastated last month in a huge blast that was blamed on a large quantity of chemicals kept in poor condition.

The army said in a statement, released on its website on Friday, that 1,320 kgs of fireworks were found in 120 boxes in a warehouse during a search of the port. It said army engineers disposed of them.

The port and a swathe of central Beirut was ruined by the huge blast on Aug. 4 that killed at least 190 people. It was blamed on 2,750 tonnes of highly explosive ammonium nitrate kept at the port for years in poor condition.

Warehouses and concrete grain silos at the port were destroyed.

Lebanon’s army said on Sept. 3 it had also found a further 4.35 tonnes of ammonium nitrate near the entrance to Beirut port, which the army said at the time it was dealing with.

Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Mark Potter

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