Lebanon reaches out to Turkey, Egypt to treat blast victims

At least 28 people were killed and 79 others wounded when a fuel tanker exploded in the Akkar region, north Lebanon, early Sunday.

Beirut: Lebanon is in contact with Turkey and Egypt to transport those seriously injured in the explosion of a fuel tanker for medical treatment, the Lebanon’s high relief commission said on Sunday.

At least 28 people were killed and 79 others wounded when a fuel tanker exploded in the Akkar region, north Lebanon, early Sunday, Lebanon’s ministry of health said in a statement.

“We are in contact with Turkey and Egypt to transfer those seriously injured in the blast for treatment,” the commission’s secretary-general, Mohammed Khair, said in statements cited by the official Lebanese news agency.

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Presidency of the council of ministers was informed by Egyptian Ambassador to Lebanon, Yasser Alawi, that “Egypt is preparing to send urgent aid to Lebanon.”

Turkey also rushed to inform the Lebanese government that it would send urgent health aid.

Likewise, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi said,  “Iraq’s readiness to provide assistance in addressing the repercussions of the explosion in the town of Al-Tleil in Akkar.”

Mustafa Al-Kazemi offered his sincere condolences over the fallen victims, wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.

The fuel tank explosion came after the Beirut port explosion on August 4 last year, which was caused by the explosion of a huge amount of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in one of the port’s warehouses since 2013, killing more than 200 people. About 6,500 others were injured.

Lebanon is facing a severe economic crisis, as the local currency has almost lost its value against the dollar, and the streets are witnessing protests and mass rallies.

On August 11, the country’s central bank suspended fuel subsidies that drained the country’s foreign reserves.

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