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Harrowing new slow-motion video captures Beirut blast that killed 158 and blew 140ft DEEP crater

A HARROWING slow-motion video has captured the Beirut blast that killed 158 and blew a 140ft deep crater.

The new footage emerged as aerial photos taken after Tuesday’s port explosion showed the utter devastation.

Protests have flared in then Lebanese capital after the “nuclear-like” blast at a warehouse which also injured 6,000 and left 300,000 homeless.

The anti-Government protests continued today after the country’s president admitted he knew about the huge stockpile of explosives weeks before the explosion.

Demonstrators hurled rocks at security forces blocking a road near parliament.

Fire broke out at the entrance to Parliament Square as protesters today tried to break into a cordoned-off area, Lebanese TV footage showed.

Riot police wearing body armour and carrying batons clashed with demonstrators in chaotic scenes.

Thousands of demonstrators were converging on Parliament Square and nearby Martyrs’ Square.

“We want to destroy and kill the government,” said Nissan Ghrawi, a 19-year-old unemployed demonstrator. “They gave us no jobs or rights.”

One message circulating on social media by angry protesters said: “Prepare the gallows because our anger doesn’t end in one day.”

The country’s top Christian Maronite cleric, Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai, said the cabinet should resign as it cannot “change the way it governs”.

He said in his Sunday sermon: “The resignation of an MP or a minister is not enough…the whole government should resign as it is unable to help the country recover.”

Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad said she was resigning today, citing the explosion and the failure of the government to carry out reforms.

It came after anger boiled over into violent scenes in central Beirut yesterday.

Those protests were the biggest since October when thousands of people took to the streets to demand an end to corruption, bad governance and mismanagement.

About 10,000 people gathered at Martyrs’ Square, which was transformed into a battle zone in the evening between police and protesters who tried to break down a barrier along a road leading to parliament.

Some demonstrators stormed government ministries and the Association of Lebanese Banks.

One police officer was killed and the Red Cross said more than 170 people were injured in clashes.

The prime minister and president have said 2,750 tonnes of highly explosive ammonium nitrate, which is used in making fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years without safety measures at the port warehouse.

The Government has said it will hold those responsible to account.

Some 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded on Tuesday, hitting a city already reeling from the economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.

World leaders today pledged emergency relief to help Lebanon.

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