by: Ilse Strauss
Wednesday, 23 September 2020 | Less than two months after a mammoth explosion devastated the Beirut port—unleashing a fire storm on large parts of the city, killing 180 people and leaving 30,000 homeless overnight—another powerful blast tore through Lebanon yesterday.
According to security sources, yesterday’s explosion destroyed a Hezbollah weapons cache in Ain Qana in southern Lebanon, an area known as a stronghold of the Iran-backed Shia terrorist group. The blast, which rattled the earth and sent giant clouds of smoke, soot and ashes into the air above the tiny village, reportedly caused several casualties and extensive damage. Residents of Ain Qana said ambulances were seen rushing to and from the scene. The reports of several wounded do, however, remain unconfirmed.
News outlets have been working to piece together the events surrounding the explosion, while Lebanese and Hezbollah officials fluctuate between remaining mum and being ambiguous.
An unnamed source told Reuters the site of the explosion was a Hezbollah munitions depot, while UAE-based Al-Hadath confirmed the report, citing security sources. An AFP photographer said Hezbollah fighters erected a cordon around the sight shortly after the blast, preventing journalists from gaining access to the area.
Hezbollah confirmed there was a blast in Ain Qana, but gave no further details. Al Manar, the terror group’s TV channel, claimed the blast happened in a house and that the cause was unknown.
For its part, the Lebanese state media pointed a finger at a convenient scapegoat: Israel, saying that the Jewish state may be behind the explosion. It did, however, concede that the causes “are not known.”
Lebanon is still reeling to come to grips with the Beirut blast, the biggest explosion the city has ever experienced and the worst national tragedy since the brutal 15-year civil war which came to an end in 1990. The blast was caused by some 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate catching fire.
Although Lebanese officials are responsible for allowing the highly explosive material to be stored in the Beirut port, many blame Hezbollah for bringing it to Lebanon. In the aftermath of the blast, the terror group faced a firestorm from angry Lebanese claiming that Hezbollah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, played a leading role in the tragedy. The terror group, they charged, has caused more damage and destruction than archenemy Israel.
As the smoke and soot of the latest explosion link to Hezbollah settles and the people of Lebanon survey the path of obliteration, it remains to be seen how the nation will react to the menace in its midst.
Posted on September 23, 2020
Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 23, 2020)
Photo Credit: NUMO TV/youtube/screenshot
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