After two explosions ripped across Lebanon killing more than 70 and injuring several others, US President Donald Trump said his country’s military generals have told him that they think the explosion was likely due to a bomb.
“I’ve met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that this was not some kind of manufacturing explosion type of an event… They seem to think it was an attack. It was a bomb of some kind,” he said at a press briefing Tuesday evening, Reuters reported.
“Our prayers go out to all the victims and their families. The United States is ready to assist Lebanon,” he said. Trump said the country has a “very good relationship with the people of Lebanon and we will be there to help.”
Meanwhile, the US embassy in Beirut has warned its residents in the city about reports of toxic gases released due to the blast, it urged people to stay indoors and wear masks, if available.
While, leaders from across the world expressed their condolences to Lebanon over the incident.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Lebanese President Michel Aoun for the lives lost and massive destruction caused by the explosion, the Kremlin said in a statement.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at least one Australian has been killed in the Beirut blast and the Australian Embassy building has been “significantly compromised.”
“Terrible scenes out of Beirut after a major explosion. Our hearts go out to those caught up in this tragedy and to our Australian Lebanese community waiting to hear from their loved ones. Australia stands ready to provide our support, including to any Australians affected,” he tweeted.
While, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif stated that his country is fully prepared to render assistance in any way necessary.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the great and resilient people of Lebanon. As always, Iran is fully prepared to render assistance in any way necessary. Stay strong, Lebanon,” Zarif tweeted.
Lebanese officials have not called the explosions an attack. Lebanese health minister Hamad Hassan said that the death toll in the blast has reached 73 and that 2,750 are wounded in the massive explosion, which shattered buildings and caused widespread damage.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab in a televised address warned that those who were responsible for the devastating catastrophe will be held accountable and not go unpunished.
Diab called for a day of mourning on Wednesday, and the country`s banking association said banks would be closed.
President Michel Aoun said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures and said it was “unacceptable”.
He called for an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday and said a two-week state of emergency should be declared.