Aoun: Hizbullah Not to Blame for Blast
Lebanon President Michel Aoun on Tuesday rejected any accusations leveled against his political ally Hizbullah of complicity in the August 4 blast in Beirut Port that killed at least 178 people and injured over 6,000. Following the massive explosion, thousands of Lebanese took to the streets in protest, with some blaming the Iranian-backed Hizbullah – designated by the US, Israel and the EU as a terrorist organization – of storing weapons at the blast site that caused the explosion. Aoun, who relies heavily on Hizbullah’s powerful political arm, dismissed the charge as “impossible” yet promised to investigate any and all suspicions, regardless of their plausibility. Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, meanwhile, has attempted to shift the blame toward Israel, accusing it of striking the port and detonating the ammonium nitrate stockpile. “Israel will pay an equal price” if these suspicions prove to be true, Nasrallah warned. Israel denies any wrongdoing.