Explosions in Beirut: Trump admits it could have been an ‘accident’

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WASHINGTON | US President Donald Trump admitted on Wednesday that the gigantic explosions that ravaged Beirut could have been caused by an “accident”, without however going back on his controversial remarks the day before, when he said that they looked like a “terrible attack .

• Read also: “Apocalyptic” explosions in Beirut: at least 113 dead and nearly 300,000 homeless

• Read also: Explosions in Lebanon: “There is no longer Beirut”, testifies a resident

“I can tell you that whatever happened is terrible, but they don’t really know what it is. Nobody knows yet, ”he said at a press conference at the White House.

“I heard both things. I heard accident. I heard, you know, explosives. Obviously it must have been some type of explosive, but whether it was an intentionally set off bomb or not, it ended up being a bomb, ”said the President of the United States.

Someone “left some terrible explosive devices and things lying around, maybe.” Maybe that was it. Maybe it was an attack. I don’t think anyone can say that right now, ”he added.

“We are in solidarity with this country,” said Donald Trump. “We have a very good relationship with this country, but it is a country in the midst of a crisis and many problems.”

The Republican billionaire said on Tuesday that the explosions “looked like a terrible attack.”

“I have met our generals and it seems it was not an industrial accident. It seems, according to them, that it was an attack, it was a bomb, ”he explained.

Pentagon chief Mark Esper spoke to him about an accident on Wednesday.

“I am inquiring about what happened,” the US defense minister said in an online forum. “Most people think it was an accident, as has been reported.”

Mr. Esper said Washington is “positioning itself” to provide humanitarian aid to Lebanon.

Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo said he had offered US aid in a telephone interview with Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Wednesday.

The US Secretary of State expressed Washington’s “steadfast commitment” to “help the Lebanese people who are facing the consequences of this terrifying event,” the State Department said in a statement.

The latter does not mention the causes of the disaster, referring only to a “terrible explosion”.

Lebanese authorities said the blasts, which left more than 100 dead and 4,000 injured, were caused by the explosion of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate in the port. Ammonium is used in the composition of certain fertilizers, but also of explosives.

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