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Beirut port blast Gunfire erupts at protest against judge leading probe

Beirut port blast Gunfire erupts at protest against judge leading probe
Henry

One person has been shot dead and several others wounded at a protest in Beirut against the judge investigating last year's blast at the city's port.

Heavy gunfire erupted near the Palace of Justice as supporters of the Hezbollah and Amal movements demanded the replacement of Judge Tarek Bitar.

They accuse him of unfairly singling out allied former cabinet ministers for questioning on suspicion of negligence.

Earlier, a court dismissed a complaint they had brought against the judge.

Families of the victims of the port explosion had condemned the move, which caused the investigation to be suspended for the second time in three weeks.

No-one has yet been held accountable for the disaster, in which killed 219 people were killed.

A fire triggered the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a combustible chemical widely used as agricultural fertiliser, that had been stored unsafely in a port warehouse for almost six years.

Senior officials were aware of the material's existence and the danger it posed but failed to secure, remove or destroy it.

Media caption, One year on from the Beirut blast

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