[WATCH] Massive blast rocks Beirut, kills at least 100 people

Lebanon is in mourning after a huge explosion in the capital Beirut killed at least 100 people and injured more than 4,000 others on Tuesday

A massive explosion in Lebanese capital Beirut has left many victims and widespread damage
A massive explosion in Lebanese capital Beirut has left many victims and widespread damage

A large explosion rocked the Lebanese capital, Beirut, causing widespread damage, killing at least 100 people and injuring 4,000 others.

President Michel Aoun said 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored unsafely in a warehouse for six years.

He scheduled an urgent cabinet meeting for Wednesday and said a two-week state of emergency should be declared.

The country will observe an official period of mourning for three days from Wednesday.

The explosion occurred just after 6pm local time, with media showing people trapped beneath the rubble.

Hospitals were said to be overwhelmed and many buildings were destroyed.

The blast was also felt 240km away on the island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean, with people there saying they thought it was an earthquake.

The explosion comes at a sensitive time for the country where old tensions are running high as a result of economic collapse. The explosion comes on the eve of the verdict in a trial over the killing of ex-prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.

A UN tribunal is due to issue its verdict in the trial of four suspects in the murder by car bomb of Hariri on Friday.

Lebanon's health minister, Hamad Hasan, has spoken of many injuries and extensive damage.

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