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US Generals Feel Beirut Blast was Likely an ‘Attack’: Trump

WASHINGTON – A Lebanese Red Cross official said Wednesday that at least 100 people died and more than 4,000 were injured in the massive explosion in Beirut, the Official, George Kettaneh, said the number could increase further.
The explosion in the Beirut port appeared to have been caused by a fire. It was the most powerful explosion ever seen in the city, which has suffered a civil war, conflicts with Israel and terrorist attacks.
The great explosion overturned cars and destroyed buildings in Beirut, Lebanon. At least 70 people died, and thousands more were injured when two explosions occurred near the port area of the Lebanese capital.
The United States President, Donald Trump, said that US military generals told him that they “seem to feel” that the massive explosion was a “terrible attack” in Lebanon and that a bomb probably caused it.
Trump was asked why he called it an attack and not an accident, especially since Lebanese officials say they have not determined the cause of the explosion.
He told reporters at the White House: “It would appear to be based on the explosion. I met with some of our great generals, and they seem to feel that it was not a type of manufacturing explosion event. … They seem to think it was an attack. It was a bomb of some kind, yeah.”
“It looks like a terrible attack,” Trump said during his initial comments.
Trump offered his condolences to the victims and said that the United States was ready to help Lebanon.
“It looks like a terrible attack,” he said.
A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the matter and referred questions to the White House.
The great explosion sent a mushroom cloud over Beirut.
The explosion followed a fire that broke out in the Beirut port area, based on multiple videos of the scene.
The blast tore through much of a port and damaged buildings across the capital, sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky.
In addition to those who died, more than 3,000 people were injured, with bodies buried in the rubble, authorities said.
The cause of the explosion was not immediately known, but initial reports suggested that a fire had detonated a warehouse in the port.
Although the cause of the explosion has not yet been officially determined, Abbas Ibrahim, the head of Lebanese General Security, said it could have been caused by the highly explosive ammonium nitrate material that was confiscated from a ship some time ago and stored in the port.
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said an estimated 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate was stored in one warehouse for six years.
Hassan Diab said in the tweet: “It is unacceptable that an estimated 2,750-ton shipment of ammonium nitrate has been in a warehouse for six years without taking preventive measures that jeopardize the safety of citizens.”
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said in a Twitter post that it was “unacceptable” that so much ammonium nitrate could have been stored in downtown Beirut for so long. It also declared a two-week state of emergency.
Ammonium nitrate is an ingredient in fertilizers and some pumps. The chemist has been behind several explosions in the past, both accidental and deliberate. Witnesses reported seeing a strange orange cloud like the one that appears when toxic nitrogen dioxide gas is released after an explosion involving nitrates.
The force of the explosion was so strong that the balconies were torn from the apartment blocks and the cars on the roads and highways overturned. Some people reported being launched into the air.
For an ammonium nitrate industrial disaster to happen, a lot has to go wrong. Tragically, this appears to have been the case in Beirut.
Charbel Haj, who works at the port, said the explosion started as small explosions like firecrackers. Then, he said, they threw him off his feet.
People in the island nation of Cyprus, some 250 kilometers away, reported feeling and hearing the explosion.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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