Beirut blast: Lebanon’s cabinet resigns amid public fury

Beirut: Lebanon’s government has resigned amid growing anger over the August 4 blast that devastated parts of Beirut and left over 200 people dead.

The announcement was made in a national TV address by Prime Minister Hassan Diab, the BBC reported.

Many people have accused the country’s leaders of culpability through their alleged negligence and corruption.

Protesters have taken to the streets and clashed with police for a third straight day.

The massive blast was caused by the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the port for years.

Diab, who was appointed Prime Minister in January after months of deadlock, said his government had “gone to great lengths to lay out a road map to save the country”.

But corruption in Lebanon was “bigger than the state” itself, and “a very thick and thorny wall separates us from change; a wall fortified by a class that is resorting to all dirty methods in order to resist and preserve its gains”, he said.

Parliament will now have to decide on a new prime minister – a process involving the same sectarian politics at the root of protesters’ discontent, our correspondent adds.

Power is shared in Lebanon between leaders, several who were major figures in the 1975-1990 civil war, representing the country’s different religious constituencies.

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