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LIVE: Lebanon investigators get four days to find blast culprits

At explosion site in Beirut, French President Macron says Lebanon would ‘continue to sink’ unless it enacted reforms.

Thursday, August 6

11:15 GM – Death toll from Beirut blast reaches 157

Lebanon’s ministry of health said that the number of people killed in the blast at Beirut’s port reached 157, while 5,000 others have been injured.

Officials said the death toll was expected to rise as rescue operations at the port continue.

10:57 GMT – Beirut blast: In a small Texas town, echoes of Lebanon’s tragedy

The shocking videos coming out of the Lebanese capital are grimly familiar to Tommy Muska as he sits thousands of miles away in the US state of Texas: a towering blast, a thundering explosion, and shock waves demolishing buildings with horrifying speed.

The mayor of West, Texas, lived through the same thing seven years ago when one of the deadliest fertiliser plant explosions in US history partly levelled his rural town. Muska has a feeling that, yet again, no lessons will be learned from this tragedy..

West, Texas
An aerial view of the aftermath of a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in the town of West, Texas in 2013 [File: Adrees Latif/Reuters]

10:35 GMT – Druze leader Jumblatt urges international probe into Beirut port blast

Lebanon’s leading Druze politician Walid Jumblatt called for an international investigation into the Beirut port explosion and said he had “no trust” in the government to find out the truth about it.

“We have no trust at all in this ruling gang,” said Jumblatt, whose party has lawmakers in parliament but is not in the cabinet, which took office in January with backing from the Hezbollah movement and its allies.

If not for the help of foreign states and the Arab region, “Lebanon would disappear”, he said, calling for “a government of neutrality.”

Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris following a meeting with French President Francois Hollande
Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said he had “no trust” in the government to find out the truth about the blast [File: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters]
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