BEIRUT (Dispatches) – Marking the first anniversary of the deadly explosion in Beirut, the Hezbollah resistance movement has urged the authorities to seriously follow up on the investigation into the incident to shed light on the national tragedy.
The explosion hit hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in an unsafe manner at the Beirut port for years, on August 4 last year. The blast killed more than 200 people, and wounded 6,500 others, besides destroying vast expanses of the capital.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, on the eve of the explosion’s anniversary, Hezbollah said it “recalls with great pain the suffering of the Lebanese in those difficult hours and the upshots and damages of the ordeal at all levels.”
“We stress the necessity of solidarity and cohesion among the Lebanese to overcome the painful ordeal,” the statement said.
The resistance movement vehemently cautioned against ongoing domestic and foreign pressure aimed at deflecting the reality behind the tragedy.
This would consequently put an end to “internal manipulation, external exploitation, false accusations and distortion of facts at the expense of the truth, justice, as well as the pain and destiny of the Lebanese,” al-Manar cited the statement as saying.
The remarks came as the survivors are still awaiting answers, urging the authorities to be accountable for the catastrophe and consign the perpetrators to justice.
Meanwhile, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said the legislative body had assigned priority to working with the judicial system towards bringing the incident into light.
The finger of blame, he added, had to be pointed towards those who were seeking to exploit the blood of the victims, not those who were not begrudging their cooperative efforts.
Also on Tuesday, the United Nations children’s agency published a report, saying one in three families in Lebanon had children still showing signs of trauma from the blast.
“One in three families (34 percent) has children still showing signs of psychological distress,” the UNICEF said, citing a July survey of 1,200 families.
“In the case of adults, the figure reaches almost one in two (45.6 percent),” it added.