Beirut explosion: Lebanon PM announces resignation of country's government

Published by NEWS.SKY.COM

Summary generated on August 10, 2020

    Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab has announced the resignation of the country's government after saying the explosion last week was the result of endemic corruption.

    Demonstrators had demanded political change after an explosion in Beirut killed more than 160 people and injured around 6,000 last week.

    Lebanon's health minister Hamad Hassan had earlier confirmed the government had resigned when he spoke to reporters after a cabinet meeting on Monday.

    Mr Hamad said: "The whole government resigned."

    Mr Diab's cabinet now assumes a caretaker role until a new government is formed.

    Protests had been planned for outside the government headquarters to coincide with the cabinet meeting.

    Justice minister Marie Claude Najm quit earlier on Monday, according to the state-run National News Agency, citing the conduct of the government in the aftermath of last week's blast.

    Dozens of people have been questioned, including two former cabinet ministers, according to government officials.

    Losses from the explosion are estimated to be between £8bn to £12bn and nearly 300,000 people were left homeless in the immediate aftermath.

    Ms Najm, who was sprayed with water and verbally attacked last week while visiting a damaged area, was the third minister to resign before it emerged the government had stepped down.