Explosion in Beirut: Crying and angry crowd pays tribute to victims

Protesters wave Lebanese flags near the site of the explosion in the Beirut port area, August 11, 2020. REUTERS / Goran Tomasevic

Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

A week ago to the day, a double explosion in the port of Beirut mourned the Lebanese capital. At least 171 people have been killed, more than 6,000 have been injured and around 300,000 are now homeless. A tribute ceremony to the victims took place late Tuesday afternoon near the port of Beirut. A ceremony between tribute and political demands.


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With our special envoys in Beirut, Pierre Olivier and Julien Boileau,

At 6:07 p.m. sharp - the hour of disaster - the muezzin calls for prayer accompanied by the sound of church bells.

Then the names of the 171 victims are spelled out. Although she did not lose any loved ones in the explosion , Vilma insisted on being present.

“  Everyone lost something that day, ” she said. Apart from people and corpses, we lost our dreams, we lost our future, our lives, we lost everything. "

Everything except this desire to overthrow the ruling political elite. But for Nayef Alaywa, 42, it is still too early to discuss this subject.

“  Political demands will follow,” he says. What sets us apart from corrupt power is that our leaders have killed people while carrying out their policies. We first want parents to recover their dead or injured children. Then come the political demands, and they will be important. "

To read and listen: Explosion in Beirut: the children of the missing between hope and anger

Others, more numerous, admit to having also come to demand the departure of the political elite whom they consider responsible for the explosion.

There, it is really a criminal negligence, it is unforgivable  ", launches a woman.

After the tribute ceremony, a procession was formed to try to approach Parliament on foot, symbol of a political power hated by the demonstrators. Among them, this young protester, who prefers to remain anonymous.

These people are criminals. End to end. It is the same head with several tentacles. It is an octopus that we are trying to fight. It really is the last hours of this diet.

A participant in the demonstration

Pierre Olivier

See also: Lebanon: Hassan Diab announces the resignation of the government

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