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Shocked, saddened: PM Modi on Beirut explosion that killed 78

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences to the families of people who lost their lives in a powerful explosion in Beirut.

Shocked saddened PM Modi on Beirut explosion that killed 78
New Delhi, First Published Aug 5, 2020, 9:43 AM IST
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday morning (August 5) said he was "shocked and saddened" by massive explosions in Beirut, Lebanon, last night that killed at least 78 people and wounded over 4,000.

"Shocked and saddened by the large explosion in Beirut city leading to loss of life and property. Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured," PMO India tweeted.

Yesterday (August 4), two enormous explosions in Lebanon's capital Beirut - caught on camera - left over 70 people dead and thousands injured. Shocking visuals, which captured the chaos in the city, showed buildings shaking and wounded people stumbling along the debris.

The blasts at the port - most powerful explosion in years in Beirut - were heard throughout the small country and as far away as Nicosia on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, 240 kilometres (150 miles) away, news agency AFP reported.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures, and said it was "unacceptable", news agency Reuters reported.

The sudden devastation overwhelmed a country already struggling with both the coronavirus pandemic and an economic crisis.

Global leaders offered help and support to Lebanon in the wake of the explosion. French President Emmanuel Macron said in a tweet that his country was sending aid. Israel offered emergency assistance through international intermediaries, its Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Iran, Hezbollah's patron, also said it was ready to help. “Stay strong, Lebanon," its foreign minister, Javad Zarif, said in a tweet.

US President Donald Trump said US military generals have told him that they “seem to feel" the massive explosion was a “terrible attack" likely caused by a bomb.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his country is ready to provide support in any way it can.

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