BBC News

Beirut blast leaves extensive damage ahead of Hariri verdict

A large blast has devastated a large part of the Lebanese city of Beirut. The cause is not yet known, however Lebanon's Interior Minister Mohammed Fehmi said the huge explosions may have been caused by explosive materials that were stored at Beirut port.

Officials are blaming 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which was stored unsafely in a warehouse for six years.

The blast comes at a sensitive time for Lebanon, which is struggling through an economic crisis. Tensions are also high with the verdict in a trial over the killing of ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri just two days away.