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Denying the Right to Simply Live: The Devastating Explosion in Beirut’s Port Brings Tragedy to Already Strained Conditions

The August 4th explosion in Beirut’s port is an unprecedented disaster. The explosion of 2700 tonnes of ammonium nitrite confiscated from a vessel in 2013 and stored in the Port, has killed over 135 people, injured over 5000, and left more than 300 000 homeless in a city of rubble and shattered glass. What caused the material to catch fire and explode is still unclear. This text takes a closer look at the Port and the neighbourhoods affected, and the socio-economic moment in which the explosion happened.