Friday, August 7, 2020

Lebanese officials have not ruled out that an external attack could have been the cause of the massive explosion Tuesday that claimed the lives of 154 people and injured thousands, President Michel Aoun said Friday.

His comments contradict that of international officials who have said that an accidental fire seems to have set off a warehouse loaded with highly flammable ammonium nitrate.

U.S. officials, however, have sent conflicting messages about the cause of the blast.

Hours after the incident, President Trump said top U.S. generals had told him the blast was likely an attack on the city. Defense officials have since dismissed that theory and suggested the cause is more likely to have been an accident.

“The cause has not been determined yet,” Mr. Aoun told local media outlets. “There is a possibility of external interference through a rocket or bomb or other act.”

The investigation is also examining possible negligence and whether the toxic chemical was not stored properly.

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