New Delhi: The government of Lebanon stepped down on Monday after violent protests erupted across the country owing to massive explosions in Beirut that killed at least 160 people and left more than 6,000 people injured.
Prime minister of Lebanon Hassan Diab while addressing the nation announced his resignation and that of his government after the blasts which rocked Beirut. He termed the accident a “disaster beyond measure.”
In his speech, Diab blamed the Lebanon’s ruling political persona for nurturing what he called “an apparatus of corruption bigger than the state.”
“We have fought valiantly and with dignity,” he said, referring to members of his cabinet. “Between us and change is big powerful barrier,” he added.
Diab referred the Beirut explosion as an “earthquake that rocked the country” leading to resignation from his government. He also said in his speech that he has decided to stand with the people in these testing times.
Soon after Diab’s resignation, three cabinet ministers along with seven members of the parliament also tendered their resignations.
Multiple violent protests erupted outside the prime minister’s office just ahead of the scheduled speech, with many protesters hurling stones, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at security forces who retaliated with several rounds of tear gas shells.
At a time when the country is already plagued with worst economic crisis in decades along with rising cases of coronavirus, the government has been constantly accused of corruption and gross mismanagement in Lebanon.
The massive blast in Beirut that destroyed almost the entire city was linked to a huge stash of long neglected explosive chemicals stored in the port of the city.