Maronite Patriarch Urging Removal Of All Arms & Explosive Depots

Reuters | @highsamachkar

In the wake of the August 4 Beirut Port explosion, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Boutros Al-Rai called for the removal of all arms and explosives depots from Lebanon’s residential areas.

Lebanon’s top Maronite cleric urged the Lebanese authorities to carry out raids on depots and warehouses caching illegal munitions, because of the crucial security risk they are posing on the citizens.

“Some Lebanese regions have turned into fields of explosives that we do not know when they will blow up or who will detonate them,” Patriarch Al-Rai stated, voicing out the current fear of the Lebanese people.

The Beirut Port explosion that killed over 200 people, injured at least 6,000 and left 300,000 homeless was caused by as much as 2,750 tonnes of high-density ammonium nitrate.

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أسبوعين – يوم ال١٥ هيدا منظر المرفأ من سطح بيوت مار مخايل. والبنايات بالصورة، سكنية بمعظمها، الأكتر تعرضًا للأضرار. الكلمات الاكتر ترددًا بالشارع: "الحمدالله، زمطنا. شوي البيت اكلها بس نشكرالله" المعظم عم يرفض بغصة "رفاهية" العلاج النفسي، "نحن معودين". كمان سمعت "كان في قدرة إلهية لزمطنا" وقصص عن كيف مرات كتيرة فرقت على دقائق وثواني انقذت حياة كتيرة ناس. -"كان عندي تصوير عالمرفأ، انلغى قبل ٣ ساعات من التفجير" -"كنت عالمرفأ عم صوّر الحريق، اجاني اتصال، طلعت بسيارتي وفليت وبعد كم دقائق طلع الانفجار" -"كنت واقفة عالبلكون عم شوف الحريق وحسيت برجّة، معودين عالحرب نهرب عالكوريدور، وفجأة طار البيت" -"عيطت لأختي لتتفرج عالحريق، لو ما قامت، كان اجى التلفزيون برأسها، حمدالله قامت عن تختها" كلنا منتذكر شو كنا عم نعمل وقت حدوث الإنفجار. المهم، صار فيك تجاوب على سؤال كيفك؟ ولا بعد؟ هيدا مش نمط حياة طبيعي. الغضب بعده موجود. لن ننسى، لن نسامح. لن نسكت. 2 weeks – Day 15. This is the view of the #BeirutPort as seen from the rooftop of one of Mar Mikhael's building. The buildings in the photo, mostly residential, have taken the strongest hit from the blast. The common expression on the street is "Hamdilla, we survived this time. The house is damaged but thank God" Most residents have refused the "luxury" of therapy. Withholding their tears and mixed feelings; "we are used to it", they say. Another common phrase i heard: "We miraculously survived by a mysterious power from God" -" I was supposed to be shooting on the port. The session was cancelled three hours prior the explostion" -" I was filming the fire from the highway. I got a call, got in my car and drove away. 5 minutes later, it happened" -" I was having my coffee on the balcony when I saw the fire. Once i felt the vibrations, We ran to the corridors as we are used to do during war." -"I called my sister to come watch the fire with me. If she was still on her bed, the TV would have been bashed into her head." We all remember what we were doing the moment when the explostion hit. Anyways, can you answer me now to the "how are you" question? Or still? This is NOT a normal lifestyle. The anger remains. We will not forget. We will not forgive. We will not remain silent. ‎#مرفأ_بيروت #انفجار_بيروت #انفجار_المرفأ

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The blast devastated all neighborhoods in its surroundings.

President Aoun denied that the explosion was caused by possible Hezbollah arms depot in the port, saying that his ally “doesn’t need to store its weapons in the port.”

However, the mere existence of illegal weapons warehouses in population centers raises concern over people’s safety after the Beirut blast.

Al-Rai’s call for their removal is the least the government must do to avoid another murderous catastrophe.

The citizens of Lebanon need to feel safe in their own homes, at work, in their errands, in hospitals, in their praying places, and wherever they are and commute in their country.

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