Lebanon defense council recommends military oversee security in 'disaster-stricken' Beirut

A street is seen following an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon August 4, 2020, in this picture obtained from a social media video. We Love Lebanon/Tony Wakim/via REUTERS

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon’s Supreme Defence Council recommended declaring Beirut a disaster-stricken city following a massive explosion, declaring a two-week state of emergency in the capital and handing over security responsibility to military authorities.

A council statement, read live on television, said President Michel Aoun has decided to release 100 billion Lebanese pounds in emergency allocations from the 2020 budget.

It also recommended ahead of a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday that a committee be tasked with investigating the blast and present its findings within five days to mete out the maximum punishment for those responsible.

Reporting by Ghaida Ghantous; editing by Jonathan Oatis