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The Beirut port after the August 4 explosion. Picture by Arthur Blok

Two new arrest warrants issued over Beirut explosion raise detainees to 19

Judicial investigator into the Beirut port blast Judge Fadi Sawan issued two new arrest warrants on Friday, the National News Agency reported. “The investigating judge, Fadi Sawan, continued his investigations, and today issued two arrest warrants,” the source said.

According to the official National News Agency, the subjects of the warrants are Beirut’s customs authority director, Hanna Fares, and Nayla al-Hajj, an engineer contracted for maintenance work at warehouse 12, where the explosion took place.

A huge stock of ammonium nitrate stored unsecured for years in the rundown warehouse at the Lebanese capital’s port exploded on August 4. The blast caused severe damage across swathes of the city, killed at least 181 people and injured more than 6,500.

Lebanon has launched an investigation into the disaster, which many have blamed on official negligence and corruption. According to NNA, so far arrest warrants have been issued for 19 of the 25 people currently facing lawsuits over the blast, including Beirut Port director-general Hassan Koraytem and customs director-general, Badri Daher.

While authorities have rebuffed widespread calls for an international probe, Lebanon’s investigation is being aided by foreign experts, including from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. France, which counted among the dead several of its citizens, has launched its own inquiry.

Source: Naharnet

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