Lebanese Army chief warns of ‘presence of dangerous substances’ at Beirut port

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Lebanese Armed Forces Commander Major General Joseph Aoun warned on Tuesday of the possibility of the presence of dangerous substances at the Beirut Port, site of the deadly explosion that killed 171 people and injured more than 6000 others last week.

During his visit to the Beirut Port and the Central Military Hospital near the explosion site, the army commander stressed the need “to pay attention to the possibility of the presence of dangerous substances.”

He called for a general inspection of the containers, according to a report carried by the state news agency NNA.

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“We must push forward and rise again, like the phoenix. The port is Lebanon’s breathing lung, and efforts must be intensified so to restore it and allow it to resume its work, especially in this less affected area,” he said.

Aoun visited the injured in the military hospital and inspected the military buildings in the port area that were damaged in the devastating blast.

The Army chief affirmed that “the military institution is at the disposal of the port administration.”

“From the port of Beirut, we say, we will always stand by the side of the people. From here we will export to the world our faith in our homeland,” Aoun affirmed.

Meanwhile and in an emotional moment, church bells rang and mosques called for prayer at the precise moment the massive explosion ravaged the Lebanese capital a week earlier.

In a related development, a US contractor spotted and reported the ammonium nitrate that led to last week's deadly explosions, during a security inspection to the Port of Beirut in 2016, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

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