Shock remains in Lebanon following yesterday’s catastrophic blast in Beirut. The explosion shook buildings hundreds of feet away, and the death toll continues to rise.
“This [was] a massive, massive explosion that shook almost every building in downtown Beirut,” Heart for Lebanon’s Tom Atema says.
Initially, government reports blamed a ship carrying fireworks for the explosion. Others suspect an Israeli attack. Israeli officials quickly denied any involvement yesterday; Lebanese officials later placed blame on a forgotten storehouse of explosive chemicals.
At the time of publishing, it’s still not clear what started the fire that set off the explosion.
“The tensions have been rising between Israel and Lebanon, especially in the last few days. Last Monday, there was a ‘mini-war’ between Israel and Hezbollah at the southern border of Lebanon; there was a lot of shelling,” says Nuna of Beirut-based Triumphant Mercy.
Yesterday, near the capital city seaport, “[There] was a huge, huge explosion that was felt all over the place. Everything shook, and then we heard a blast. We think an Israeli plane came and blasted these containers with lots of bombs inside,” Nuna continues.
“The ground shook; we went outside, and I heard a plane. Some people say ‘no, this is only the rumbling of whatever’, but I’m not sure… I don’t know exactly what way this is going, but definitely this is a strong message to Iran, to Hezbollah, and to anyone who is coming against Israel.”
Doubts remain, Atema agrees, “But we really don’t know yet,” he says.
“We all have our suspicions because of aircraft that was going overhead not only today but in the last couple of days.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray alongside believers in Lebanon as they face yet another challenging situation.
- Pray they will demonstrate the hope of Christ in word and deed.