Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Friday strongly denied that his powerful Shiite movement had stored arms at Beirut’s port, describing the cataclysmic explosion there as “a major tragedy”.
“We have nothing in the port: not an arms depot, nor a missile depot nor missiles nor rifles nor bombs nor bullets nor (ammonium) nitrate,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech three days after the blast in the Lebanese capital that killed more than 150 people.
He called the explosion a “major tragedy and humanitarian catastrophe,” saying it required a kind of response that would match its “exceptional” scale.
The blast injured at least 5,000 people and devastated entire districts of the capital, leaving some 300,000 people temporarily homeless.
An investigation by authorities has so far led to 21 arrests, as well as travel bans and asset freezes.