Hezbollah denies storing arms at Beirut explosion site

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Israa Seblani was posing for her wedding

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Israa Seblani was posing for her wedding

Lebanese authorities had announced an investigation into Tuesday's explosion, which they said was triggered by a fire igniting 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at Beirut's port.

Trump said on Twitter that he spoke separately with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and French President Emmanuel Macron, who will also join the call.

He also said Lebanon needed a new "political initiative" as part of the rebuilding process because of corruption in the country.

Officials have said the explosive material was stored unsafely for years at the port.

The investigation is focusing on port and customs officials, with 16 employees detained and others questioned.

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"The UN human rights office meanwhile called for an independent investigation, insisting "victims'" calls for accountability must be heard".

Spokesman Rupert Colville of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights cited the need for the global community to "step up" to help Lebanon with both a quick response and sustained engagement. Colville urged Lebanese leaders to "overcome political stalemates and address the grievances of the population".

A nationwide protest movement began last October, sparked by an unpopular proposal to tax the WhatsApp messaging app. Demonstrators called for the overthrow of a political oligarchy they accuse of enriching themselves while hollowing out the state.

According to Lebanon's state-run National News agency, the lady had some staff members killed and wounded.

A drone picture shows the scene of an explosion at the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020.

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Lebanon's health minister later said at least 154 people had died in the blast on Tuesday.

UNICEF added it lost 10 containers of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the blast and has placed an order to replace the items.

On Thursday, a Turkish military plane carrying aid and a search and rescue team arrived in Beirut.

French and Russian rescue teams with dogs are searching the area, and at least three more bodies were recovered during the past 24 hours.

Initial Lebanese probes have pointed to an ammonium nitrate cargo, which was abandoned in Beirut, as the source of the blast. It was so big that it damaged buildings several miles outside of the city.

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