Marking the first anniversary of last year’s deadly explosion in Beirut, the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has stressed the need to shed light on the truth about the national tragedy, urging the authorities to seriously follow up on the investigation into the incident.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, on the eve of the explosion’s anniversary, Hezabollah said it “recalls with great pain the suffering of the Lebanese in those difficult hours and the upshots and damages of the ordeal at all levels.”
“We stress the necessity of solidarity and cohesion among the Lebanese to overcome the painful ordeal,” the statement said.
Hezbollah also called on the relevant judicial officials to address the issue with seriousness in an effort to bring the truths to light before the Lebanese and international public opinion.
Hezbollah vehemently cautioned against ongoing domestic and foreign pressure aimed at deflecting the reality behind the tragedy.
This would consequently put an end to “internal manipulation, external exploitation, false accusations and distortion of facts at the expense of the truth, justice, as well as the pain and destiny of the Lebanese,” al-Manar cited the statement as saying.
The explosion hit hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in an unsafe manner at the Beirut port for years, on August 4 last year. The blast killed more than 200 people, and wounded 6,500 others, besides destroying vast expanses of the capital.
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, meanwhile, said the legislative body had assigned priority to working with the judicial system towards bringing the incident into light.
The finger of blame, he added, had to be pointed towards those who were seeking to exploit the blood of the victims, not those who were not begrudging their cooperative efforts.
The remarks came as the survivors are still awaiting answers, urging the authorities to be accountable for the catastrophe and consign the perpetrators to justice.
Amid political bickering and attempts at foreign meddling, reports say only 25 people have been detained in connection with the explosion so far, 13 of whom have been released.
Most of the detainees reportedly comprise junior and mid-level port workers and officials, with the exception of the head of Customs Badri Daher and head of the Beirut Port Authority Hasan Kraytem.
Also on Tuesday, the United Nations children’s agency published a report, saying one in three families in Lebanon had children still showing signs of trauma from the blast.
“One in three families (34 percent) has children still showing signs of psychological distress,” the UNICEF said, citing a July survey of 1,200 families.
“In the case of adults, the figure reaches almost one in two (45.6 percent),” it added.