Lebanon government resigns after deadly Beirut blast

Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab speaks at the government palace in Beirut, Lebanon, August 10, 2020, in this still picture taken from a video. Tele Liban/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced on Monday the resignation of his government after a powerful Beirut port explosion sparked public uproar against the country’s leaders.

Diab, in a televised speech, said the detonation of highly-explosive material warehoused at the port in the capital for the last seven years was “the result of endemic corruption”.

“Today we follow the will of the people in their demand to hold accountable those responsible for the disaster that has been in hiding for seven years, and their desire for real change,” he said. “In the face of this reality ... I am announcing today the resignation of this government.”

The cabinet had already been under pressure to step down over last week’s explosion that killed 163 people, wounded some 6,000 and left around 300,000 without habitable housing. Several ministers had already resigned over the weekend.

Reporting by Ellen Francis and Beirut team; Editing by Samia Nakhoul