Russia hands over Beirut blast satellite images to Lebanon

TEHRAN, Nov. 22 (MNA) – Lebanon’s Foreign Minister said on Monday that Russia has delivered satellite images of the Port of Beirut on the day of last year’s devastating blast, which he said could help figure out what happened.

Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Abdallah Bouhabib made the comments on a visit to Moscow when he was speaking after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, the Associated Press said on Monday.

“We thanked and highly appreciate receiving satellite images for the blast at Beirut Port on Aug. 4, 2020, and we will hand them over to the Lebanese judiciary, hoping that can help in revealing the truth of this tragedy that has hit Lebanon,” Bouhabib said during a press conference.

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said it would provide the satellite images after a request from Lebanese President Michel Aoun.

Lavrov said he hoped the images help in the investigation.

He said that the images showed the port of Beirut before the blast and also the scene after the blast.

“Roscosmos experts said it should help specialists figure out what happened based on the character of destruction,” Lavrov said.

“Let’s hope that the Lebanese experts, probably with the help of foreign colleagues, will sort out this issue that has become a serious political irritant for Lebanon,” he said. “We would like to help resolve it as quickly as possible.”

Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has repeatedly called for an independent investigation into the Beirut explosion so far.

Nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate — a highly explosive material used in fertilizers — had been improperly stored in the Beirut port for years. On Aug. 4, 2020, the fertilizer ignited, causing a massive blast that killed over 216 people and injured more than 6,000, while destroying parts of the city.

KI/PR

News Code 180975

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