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Beirut explosion death toll rises to 190

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The death toll from this month’s Beirut port blast has risen to 190 with more than 6,500 injured and three people missing, Lebanon’s caretaker government said in a report dated Sunday.

Lebanese authorities are probing what caused highly explosive material stored unsafely for years to detonate in a mushroom cloud, wrecking swathes of the city and fuelling anger at a political class already blamed for the country’s economic meltdown.

The army said on Saturday that seven people were still missing – three Lebanese, three Syrians and one Egyptian. It was not immediately clear if some had since been found.

A picture taken with a drone shows the destroyed port area following a huge explosion, in Beirut, Lebanon, 29 August 2020. According to Lebanese Health Ministry, at least 181 people were killed, and more than six thousand injured in the Beirut blast that devastated the port area on 04 August and believed to have been caused by an estimated 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse. EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH

The Aug. 4 explosion left 300,000 people homeless and caused $15 billion in direct damage, said the report issued on Sunday by the presidency of the council of ministers.

It said 50,000 houses, nine major hospitals and 178 schools had been damaged.

The outgoing government quit over the blast.

The presidency will talk to parliamentary blocs on Monday to designate a new prime minister, a day before French President Emmanuel Macron visits to press leaders to act to save the country from a deep financial crisis rooted in endemic corruption and mismanagement. 

Reuters

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