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Some officials saw risk of Beirut blast, did not act – HRW report

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A report released by Human Rights Watch on Tuesday concluded there was strong evidence to suggest some Lebanese officials knew about and tacitly accepted the lethal risks posed by ammonium nitrate stored at Beirut port before the fatal blast there on Aug. 4 last year.

HRW called for a U.N. investigation into the explosion, which was caused by the chemicals stored unsafely at the port for years and killed more than 200 people, injured thousands and destroyed swathes of Lebanon’s capital.

The report by the international rights watchdog contained over 700 pages of findings and documents. Its investigation also concluded there was evidence that multiple Lebanese authorities were criminally negligent under Lebanese law.

HRW said President Michel Aoun, caretaker prime minister Hassan Diab, director general of state security Tony Saliba and other former ministers wanted for questioning by judge Bitar, had failed to take action to protect the general public despite having been informed of the risks.

via Reuters