Fri, 25 Sep 2020

BEIRUT, Lebanon -French President Emmanuel Macron visited shell-shocked Beirut on Thursday, pledging support and urging change after a massive explosion devastated the Lebanese capital in a disaster that has sparked grief and fury.

Macron was the first foreign head of state to make the trip after two explosions rocked Beirut on Tuesday, killing scores, injuring thousands and inflicting billions of euros in damage.

The French leader pledged the support of Lebanon's former colonial power and urged reform, telling crowds that he was not planning to write a blank cheque to the country's discredited regime.

Macron said he would organise an international donor conference to help crisis-wracked Lebanon, adding that French aid would go "directly to the people".

Lebanon's state news agency said 16 port staffers have been arrested in connection with an ongoing investigation into the devastating blasts that killed at least 145 people and injured thousands more.

Orginally published on France24

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