Maryam Toumi, a journalist at the BBC Arabic News office, was conducting an interview with Faisal Al-Asil, director of projects at the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy, as yesterday’s deadly blast in the port of Beirut took place.
The horrific and tragic blast killed at least 100 people and wounded thousands and has been attributed to an unsecured warehouse filled with explosive ammonium nitrate which had been negligently left for years.
Reuters reports: “The prime minister and presidency have said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures.’It is negligence,’ the official source told Reuters, adding that the issue on storing the material safely had come before several committees and judges and ‘nothing was done’ to order the material be removed or disposed of.’ The source said a fire had started at port warehouse 9 on Tuesday and spread to warehouse 12, where the ammonium nitrate was stored.”
On Monday, Trump told reporters that it was a “bomb of some kind” and characterized the explosion as a “terrible attack.”
Said Trump: “I’ve met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that it was not… some kind of manufacturing explosion type of event… They seem to think it was an attack.”
Defense officials told CNN that they have no idea why Trump is saying that: “Three US Defense Department officials told CNN that as of Tuesday night there was no indication that the massive explosion that rocked Beirut on Tuesday were an ‘attack,’ contradicting an earlier claim from President Donald Trump. One official said that if there were indications anyone in the region pulled something off of this scale, it would trigger automatic increases in force protection for US troops and assets in the region — if for no other reason than worry about retribution attacks.”