Lebanon Prime Minister resigns amidst anger over Beirut blast

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Lebanese Prime Minister, Hassan Diab has announced his resignation almost a week after a massive explosion that devastated the capital, Beirut, killing some 200 people and wounding 6,000 others.

Diab made the announcement in a televised address to the nation on Monday, saying he has come to the conclusion that corruption in Lebanon is “bigger than the state”. The move risks opening the way to dragged-out negotiations over a new Cabinet amid urgent calls for reform.

Diab said he is taking “a step back” so he can stand with the people “and fight the battle for change alongside them.”

“I declare today the resignation of this government. May God protect Lebanon,” he said, repeating the last phrase three times.

“This crime” was a result of endemic corruption, Diab added, and called for the trying those responsible for the deadly blast.

The August 4 explosion, which was caused by highly explosive ammonium nitrate that was stored at Beirut’s port for more than six years, has fuelled popular anger and upended politics in a country struggling with a major economic crisis.

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