Trump promises to assist Lebanon, calls the Beirut explosion an 'attack'

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Aug 05, 2020, 06.47 AM(IST)

Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Trump said that he had spoken to US military officials about the attack, who believed that it caused by a “bomb of some kind”

United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday referred to a massive explosion in Lebanon’s capital city Beirut as a possible attack, and extended help to the country.

Trump said that he had spoken to US military officials about the attack, who believed that it caused by a “bomb of some kind”.

According to Lebanon’s interior minister, highly explosive material which was seized years ago and was stored at the port had blown up, causing the deaths of at least 78 people, and injuring thousands.

Also read: Death toll from explosion in Beirut rises to 78; PM vows to make culprits pay

"It would seem like it based on the explosion, I met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that it was. This was not a some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of event. This was a seems to be according to them, they would know better than I would, but they seemed to think it was an attack. It was a bomb of some kind. Yes”, the US president said.

The president also offered his sympathies to the people of Lebanon.

"Let me begin by sending America's deepest sympathies to the people of Lebanon, where reports indicate that many, many people were killed, hundreds more were very badly wounded in a large explosion in Beirut. Our prayers go out to all the victims and their families. The United States stands ready to assist Lebanon, a very good relationship with the people of Lebanon. And we will be there to help. It looks like a terrible attack”, he said at a press briefing.

Also read: Beirut blast: Indian mission in Lebanon in touch with Indian community

According to local officials, the death toll is expected to increase, with authorities digging through rubble to find more corpses. Been seen as the most powerful explosion to hit Beirut in years, it is a major blow the country already suffering because of coronavirus and an economic crisis.

Michel Aoun, the president has claimed that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate was being stored for six years with no safety measures, calling it “unacceptable”.

While calling an emergency cabinet meeting, the leader suggested imposing a state of emergency in the country for two weeks.

The blast hit the city at 6 pm local time (1500 GMT), following which a fire continue to blaze across the port district, which cast an orange glow in the night sky.

The buzzing of helicopters, and ambulance sirens could be heard in the city.