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Beirut blast: Two-week state of emergency declared in ‘disaster-stricken’ city

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun has called for a two-week state of emergency in Beirut following a huge explosion that claimed more than a hundred lives, injured thousands more and sent seismic shockwaves through the capital, with the country’s top defense body describing Beirut as a “disaster-stricken” city.

Lebanon’s Supreme Defense Council headed by President Aoun held an emergency meeting at the Baabda presidential palace in the early hours of Wednesday.

Following the session, a statement by the council, read live on television, said Aoun had decided to release 100 billion Lebanese pounds in emergency allocations from the 2020 budget.

The council also recommended that a committee be tasked with investigating the blast and present its findings within five days to mete out the maximum punishment for those responsible.

It further suggested declaring Beirut a “disaster-stricken” city, announcing a two-week state of emergency in the capital and handing over security responsibility to military authorities.

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