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Lebanese president asks Russia for satellite imagery of port explosion

The request comes more than a year after the deadly explosion in Beirut’s port, and follows a US government report on the incident.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun asked Russia for help today with the investigation into the 2020 Beirut port explosion. 

Aoun told Russia’s ambassador in Beirut that Lebanon is seeking satellite imagery from the day of the blast, his office said in a statement. 

The explosion occurred in August 2020 when 2,750 tons of the fertilizer ammonium nitrate caught fire in a warehouse and exploded. The blast led to more than 200 deaths and the displacement of thousands. Many of those affected are still struggling economically as a result. 

Many Lebanese attribute the explosion to government incompetence and are similarly frustrated with the slow investigation into the tragedy. Nobody has been convinced in relation to the explosion. The state’s official probe was suspended again earlier this month following legal action from a former minister implicated in the investigation. 

It is unclear why Aoun asked Russia for help, and his office did not provide further details. The US government also reportedly submitted findings from its own investigation to the Lebanese government last year. 

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