Lebanon rocked by another explosion in Hezbollah stronghold

A security source told Reuters that an arms depot belonging to Hezbollah exploded due to a "technical error."

al-monitor A Lebanese protester walks draped in a national flag along the Fuad Chehab Avenue, near Martyrs' Square, in the center of the capital Beirut on Oct. 29, 2019. Photo by JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images.

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hezbollah, hezbollah in lebanon, explosion, lebanon crisis, beirut

Sep 22, 2020

There was a blast at a reported arms depot in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, sowing panic among residents still recovering from the deadly explosion that tore through Beirut last month. 

According to the official National News Agency (NNA), explosions could be heard at around 3 p.m. across the southern regions of Nabatieh and Iqlim al-Tuffah, and thick smoke could be seen near the towns of Ain Qana and Kafarfila.  

The report said the cause was unknown, but NNA suggested that the explosion "coincided with the intensive flight of hostile Israeli military and espionage aircraft."

A security source told Reuters an arms depot belonging to Iran-backed Hezbollah exploded due to a "technical error," injuring several people. Another security source told Reuters that Hezbollah had set up a security cordon around the blast site and is preventing journalists from entering. 

Lebanon is still reeling from a massive explosion at the Beirut port last month that killed nearly 200 people, injured some 6,500 and gutted large swaths of the Lebanese capital. 

Weeks later on Sept. 10, the country was sent into a new panic when a fire broke out in a warehouse in the Beirut port’s duty-free zone. No casualties were reported.

Lebanon is in the midst of its worst economic crisis in decades, with many blaming deep-rooted corruption and negligence among the country’s leaders. The Beirut explosion, triggered by a stockpile of improperly stored explosive chemicals, was seen as emblematic of the government’s chronic mismanagement.

Roughly a month after the explosion, Lebanon’s army discovered near the Beirut port an additional 4.35 tons of ammonium nitrate, the same chemical involved in the August explosion.

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