Protests in Lebanon on Thursday marked the first anniversary of one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history: the Beirut port explosion that killed at least 218 people, injured 7,000 and destroyed or damaged 300,000 homes. So far, no one in the political leadership has been held accountable for leaving over 2,700 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate fertilizer unattended at Beirut’s port. This is Lea Noun, who lost her cousin to the explosion. She was among protesters who held a vigil at the site of the blast.
Lea Noun: “We all came on this sad day to an uprising, not a memorial. We all came with burnt hearts for our martyrs and heroes, who died as victims. My cousin is Joe Noun, who stood at warehouse number 12 and was opening the door as the explosion took place. They promised us a five-day investigation, and this is not the fifth day. This is day 365, and still nothing has come from the investigation.”
This comes amid an economic collapse and political crisis that has largely left Lebanon without a functioning government.
Meanwhile, Israel’s military says it fired artillery shells into southern Lebanon — and later carried out airstrikes — after Lebanese militants fired rockets into northern Israel. The fighting sparked large brush fires along the Israel-Lebanon border.