Beirut explosion must be independently investigated: Amnesty

Amnesty International called for an independent into Beirut’s deadly blast and urged the international community to increase humanitarian aid at this time.

Julie Verhaar, acting secretary-general of the rights group, said, “Whatever may have caused the explosion, including the possibility of a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely, Amnesty International is calling for an international mechanism to be promptly set up to investigate how this happened.

On Wednesday, the massive explosion in the port area of Beirut, Lebanon, killed at least 135 people and left an estimated 5,000 more injured.

Officials said they expect the death toll to rise further as emergency workers dig through the rubble to search for survivors.

“Amnesty International also calls on the international community to urgently increase humanitarian aid to Lebanon at a time when the country was already struggling with the severe economic crisis, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.