Lebanese President Michel Aoun says it is “impossible” that explosives in the port of Beirut that caught fire – causing a deadly explosion earlier this month – were caused by Hezbollah weapons.
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Aoun, who has been accused of being a puppet of the Iran-backed Hezbollah militia, made the statements Tuesday to Italian media Corriere della Sera, echoing an earlier denial by the designated terror group.
He said Hezbollah did not stockpile weapons at the port but the leadership would be prosecuted further.
“Impossible, but serious events like these light up the minds and the imagination,” Aoun said when asked about the people who push the theory forward. He added, however, that “even this track will be investigated”
Authorities are investigating the devastating August 4 explosion that killed more than 200 people and injured 7,000 others, which resulted when 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the port of Beirut without the necessary safety precautions were been engulfed in flames.
Aoun said the investigation was examining whether negligence, an accident or “external interference” caused the explosion.
Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah hinted at the theory that Israel – a major enemy – is to blame for the explosion, but Israel has denied any involvement.
“Although it seems that (this) was an accident, I want to avoid being accused of not having listened to all voices,” Aoun told the Italian daily.
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The president said the allegations of planes flying through the port just before the explosion were “not very credible” but will be the subject of further investigation.