Lebanon’s entire government resigns over Beirut explosion

Beirut: Lebanon’s prime minister announced his resignation on Monday in the wake of the Beirut port explosion last week that triggered public fury and mass protests.

In a brief televised speech, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Monday that he is taking a step back so he can stand with the people and fight the battle for change alongside them.

He said: “I declare today the resignation of this government. May God protect Lebanon,” repeating the last phrase three times.

“Today we are heeding the people and their demands to hold accountable those responsible for a disaster,” Diab said in a televised address, blaming a corrupt political class that has ruled Lebanon for more than 30 years for the August 4 explosion.

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“They (political class) should have been ashamed of themselves because their corruption is what has led to this disaster that had been hidden for seven years,” he added.

A brief while earlier, Diab’s Cabinet resigned. The developments follow a weekend of anti-government protests in the wake of the Aug. 4 explosion in Beirut’s port that caused widespread destruction, killed at least 160 people and injured about 6,000 others.

Demonstrations broke out again in central Beirut, with some protesters hurling rocks at security forces guarding an entrance leading to the parliament building, who responded with tear gas.

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