A powerful blast in south Lebanon caused temporary panic after it was heard and felt for miles away on Tuesday.
Images and video of the explosion spread across social media Tuesday, with initial conflicting reports saying it was either the result of an Israeli attack, or a gas station that went up in flames.
Video of Explosion in South #Lebanon at this hour, in town of Ayn Qana.
Early reports indicating gas station but now pointing to #Hezbollah weapons depot: pic.twitter.com/geE35SfOC8
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) September 22, 2020
Hours after, Al Jazeera and other regional media confirmed the site was an arms depot belonging to Hezbollah. The Shia paramilitary group which routinely exchanges fire along the border with Israel claimed a “technical error” was behind detonating the facility, which reportedly contained mines.
“Lebanon’s official news agency, NNA, said the explosion took place in the southern village Ein Qana, about 50km (30 miles) south of the capital Beirut,” Al Jazeera reports.
WATCH: A Hezbollah weapon warehouse just exploded in Southern Lebanon.
They claimed it was a gas station. Yeah right. Even Lebanese people don't buy these lies. #Hezbollah #Lebanon pic.twitter.com/0bSVsJtp41
— Hananya Naftali (@HananyaNaftali) September 22, 2020
Lebanon is still on edge after seven weeks ago a massive amount of stored ammonium nitrate detonated at the Beirut Port, killing hundreds and wounding many thousands. Al Jazeera details further of the latest incident:
Hezbollah’s media office told Al Jazeera the explosion was caused by a “technical error” at their arms depot, which sent a huge column of black smoke into the sky…
“This explosion was at a house that stored weapons – result of technical error. No one was killed or injured. The building belonged to a Hezbollah affiliated de-mining association,” Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from Beirut, said.
However, there are currently conflicting casualty reports, with some local media saying there have been injuries and possibly deaths.
South #Lebanon explosion in Ain Qana was at a #Hezbollah arms depot, caused by technical error.
At least 4 dead.
— #RebuildBeirut (@LebaneseProblem) September 22, 2020
Hezbollah has been accused of blocking journalists and even state security officials’ access to the site in the aftermath.
There are also accusations and rising anger that it appears Hezbollah was storing weapons in the center of a busy residential area.
The blast aftermath looks to have caused significant and widespread damage in the village:
Large #explosion today at Ein Qana in South #Lebanon, south-east of Sidon. Significant amount of damage visible. Cause unknown. pic.twitter.com/iWAb8DJBcy
— Donatella Rovera (@DRovera) September 22, 2020
The entire country also is used to closely watching events in southern Lebanon, a Hezbollah stronghold, especially along the tense border given a history of conflict with Israel.
The population is still outraged and is seeking answers from authorities over their severe mismanagement of dangerous materials which had been stored at the port for years. A series of smaller blasts and fires have further fueled outrage in the streets.
Our political climate has levied a lopsided justice system to the point that Jake Gardner, a Nebraska bar owner chose to commit suicide rather than face prison for defending his life, liberty, and property.
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