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World Beirut blast conspiracy tales abound on social media

18:06  12 august  2020
18:06  12 august  2020 Source:   msn.com

Massive explosion near port area rocks Lebanon's capital city of Beirut

  Massive explosion near port area rocks Lebanon's capital city of Beirut A massive explosion has shaken Lebanon's capital Beirut, wounding a number of people, destroying buildings and causing widespread damage. The afternoon blast shook several parts of the capital and thick smoke billowed from the city centre and appeared to have been triggered by a fire in a warehouse.It destroyed homes and offices around the port and shattered windows across the city.Beirut local Fady Roumieh was among a large number of Twitter users to post videos of the explosion.

The massive explosion in Beirut created a mushroom cloud over Lebanon’s capital city. It also generated speculations like these. # Beirut # conspiracy

Human Rights Watch head Kenneth Roth was quick to join a social media chorus blaming Hezbollah for deadly explosions in Beirut on Tuesday. Roth rushed to blame Hezbollah for the huge explosions near the port of Beirut , blasts which killed at least 50 people and are believed to have wounded over

a person standing in front of a building: Misinformation about the Beirut blast has spread like wildfire on social networks © - Misinformation about the Beirut blast has spread like wildfire on social networks

Within hours of the Beirut mega-blast, conspiracy theories on what caused the disaster in the Lebanese capital spread like wildfire on social media.

The August 4 detonation of an abandoned shipment of ammonium nitrate in Beirut port's Hangar 12, after an initial blast and fire, cost more than 170 lives, injured thousands and left hundreds of thousands temporarily homeless.

Trump says US generals tell him Beirut blast 'bomb of some kind'

  Trump says US generals tell him Beirut blast 'bomb of some kind' President Donald Trump said Tuesday that US generals had told him that the powerful explosions which rocked Beirut appeared to have been caused by a "bomb of some kind." "It was a bomb of some kind, yes.""It looks like a terrible attack," Trump told reporters at the White House.

Beirut ’s governor, Marwan Abboud, has said the damage from the port blast has extended over half of the city, with the cost of damage likely above bn. Rescuers continue to search for victims who remain trapped under rubble. In one video shared on Wednesday

political crisis and how much worse the Beirut blast has made things, why Lebanon’s democracy is a façade, continual conflict with Israel and the role of Hezbollah in Lebanese politics, Israel’s claim it is a democracy and more!

Benjamin Netanyahu wearing a suit and tie: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressing the UN General Assembly in 2018 to accuse Hezbollah of having secret sites, pointing at a zone near Beirut airport © TIMOTHY A. CLARY Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressing the UN General Assembly in 2018 to accuse Hezbollah of having secret sites, pointing at a zone near Beirut airport

Images and videos were posted within minutes on social media of the atomic bomb-like explosion and its apocalyptic aftermath across the Mediterranean metropolis.

In the absence of clear-cut answers and pending the results of an official investigation, some postings have served to feed disinformation.

- Missile attack? -

A video showing a missile in the sky was quickly touted as proof of an attack by Lebanon's former wartime enemy and neighbour Israel.

But verification by AFP shows the missile image was digitally pasted into the video, after several earlier postings of the same footage which showed no such projectile.

Second night of uncertainty for 250,000 Beirut explosion homeless

  Second night of uncertainty for 250,000 Beirut explosion homeless As number of victims keeps rising, volunteers and social media users mobilise to offer shelter and aid to those in need.Felt far beyond the Lebanese capital, the explosion on Tuesday in port warehouses storing ammonium nitrate displaced some 250,000 people and caused up to $5bn in damage, Governor Marwan Abboud told local media after taking a tour of the wrecked city.

Video caption: Beirut blast : The mother in labour during explosionBeirut blast : The mother in labour during explosion. Emmanuelle was getting ready to give birth at St George's hospital in Beirut when an explosion rocked Lebanon's capital. Her husband Edmond captured the terrifying ordeal on camera.

The blasts are under investigation with early reports linking it to stored fireworks and chemicals. Two blasts struck the port area of Beirut , with the first hitting at around 6pm local time. Speaking to local media , Health Minister Hamad Hassan initially said more than 30 people have been killed and over 3

A separate posting of a rocket crashing into another site in Beirut port is marked as "filmed by thermal camera".

But a filter was found to have been added to the footage and a missile inserted.

To back up the finger-pointing at Israel, with which Lebanon technically remains at war, online videos allegedly show a drone dropping an unidentified object over the port, seconds before the blast.

It has been authenticated but with no connection to August 4, and linked in fact to Israeli drones over south Lebanon days earlier, according to several local media.

A photograph of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holding a map of Beirut to indicate the port has been added to the mix.

But the picture dates back to September 2018 and shows Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly condemning alleged "secret sites" of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah.

He was pointing at a zone near Beirut international airport, several kilometres (miles) away from the port.

US says sending immediate $15 mn in food, medicine to Lebanon

  US says sending immediate $15 mn in food, medicine to Lebanon The United States said Friday it was sending an immediate $15 million worth of food and medicine to help Lebanon after Beirut's massive port blast. The aid, to be transported through the US military, amounts to three months' worth of food for 50,000 people and three months' worth of medicine for 60,000 people, the US Agency for International Development said. "We stand with the people of Lebanon as they seek relief and accountability in this difficult time," USAID said in a statement.The US military made its first aid delivery on Thursday, with a C-17 plane flying in from Qatar with food, water and medical supplies.

Local media showed people trapped beneath rubble. A witness described the first explosion as deafening, and video footage showed wrecked cars and Image copyright EPA. Image caption The blast struck Beirut 's port district and beyond. Are you in Beirut ? Have you been affected by the blast ?

Lebanese media initially blamed the blasts on a fire at a fireworks warehouse at the port, but Prime Minister Hassan Diab later said the tragedy involved dangerously Beirut -Rafic Hariri International Airport, located about 10 kilometers from the port, was littered with broken glass and fallen ceiling tiles.

The Beirut blast created a crater 43 metres (140 feet) deep, according to a Lebanese security source, citing an assessment by French experts in pyrotechnics.

But doctored photographs have cropped up on social media among the abundance of shots of actual widespread destruction across Beirut.

One shows rows of totally burnt-out "imported cars" -- an image in fact taken in eastern China's Hebei province after a 2015 blast at a chemical warehouse.

The crater it left behind is falsely identified as the scene at Beirut port.

Among other rigged photos suggesting international solidarity with Beirut have been fake images of Cairo pyramids and Tunis clock tower lit up in the colours of the Lebanese flag.

Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Tuesday handed in the resignation of his government following angry street demonstrations over official corruption and negligence blamed for the catastrophe.

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Beirut blast death toll rises to 178 .
The massive explosion in Lebanon's capital Beirut killed 178 people, with at least 30 still missing, the United Nations says. The explosion has affected operations at six hospitals, up from an initial three, and damaged more than 20 clinics in the parts of Beirut worst hit by the blast, the UN's humanitarian affairs agency said in a report on Friday."A preliminary rapid assessment within a 15km radius of the explosions has revealed that, out of 55 medical facilities, only half are fully operational and around 40 per cent have suffered moderate to serious damage and need rehabilitation," the report said.

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