Lebanese Officials Blast Trump for Calling Beirut Blast an ‘Attack’

Lebanese Officials Blast Trump for Calling Beirut Blast an ‘Attack’

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Lebanese officials raised concerns with US diplomats about using the word “attack” to describe the blast in Beirut Tuesday after President Donald Trump did so at a news conference, two US State Department officials said.

Trump offered sympathy and assistance to the people of Lebanon Tuesday after the explosions, which left dozens dead and thousands injured, referring to the incident as a “terrible attack”, CNN reported.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that the government of Lebanon is investigating the cause of the explosion and the US looks forward to that outcome.

Initial reports blamed the explosion on a major fire at a warehouse for firecrackers near the port, according to Lebanese state news agency NNA.

Lebanon's Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, later said that 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive material used in fertilizers and bombs, had been stored for six years at a port warehouse without safety measures, "endangering the safety of citizens," according to a statement.

The Prime Minister called the storage of the material "unacceptable" and called for an investigation into the cause of the blast, with the results released within five days, the statement said.

Lebanese officials have not called the explosion an attack.

At least 100 people have died and more than 4,000 were wounded in Tuesday’s explosion in the port of Beirut, state-run media reported, citing the Red Cross.

Georges Kettaneh, the secretary-general of the Lebanese Red Cross, told Lebanon’s National News Agency Wednesday that the disaster is "unprecedented and very large."


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