Beirut explosion

Emotional moment as one week on, Beirut mourns its devastating loss in explosion

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At 6:08 pm in Beirut on Tuesday, church bells rang and mosques called for prayer at the precise moment a massive explosion ravaged the Lebanese capital a week earlier.

The August 4 blast left more than 160 people dead, 6,000 injured and nearly 300,000 homeless and caused a political earthquake that brought down the government on Monday.

Near the port, several hundred Lebanese gathered, mostly dressed in white, some of them from the devastated nearby Gemmayze neighborhood.

Waving placards with the names of victims, their nationality and a green cedar, the emblem of Lebanon, they marked the tragic moment the gigantic explosion blew up entire neighborhoods.

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Some were crying, others held back their tears with great difficulty.

On a giant screen, videos of the blast were shown, along with scenes of the panic that followed, in the harborside districts that have been transformed into fields of ruins.

“We will not mourn, we will not wear black until we bury those in power,” said one of the speakers as the list of victims’ names scrolled down the screen.

“All means all,” the mourners chanted to call for the departure not just of the government but of the entire political class they blame for the tragedy.

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-Al Arabiya English’s Souad El Skaf contributed to this report.

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