Lebanon – A powerful explosion at a weapons depot in a Palestinian refugee camp

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A powerful explosion rocked a weapons and ammunition depot tonight in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, a military source said, adding that there were no immediate reports of injuries.

A Palestinian official in the Abu Rashid al-Bake camp, however, denied that weapons and ammunition were stored in the warehouse. He claimed that the warehouse was full of gas and oxygen cylinders.

According to the military source, the explosion was caused by a fire that broke out in the warehouse, which is located in the camp of Burj al Semali, near Tire. The causes of the fire are unknown.

Firefighters rushed to the scene and tried to extinguish the flames in the warehouse building, which is located next to a mosque, until late at night. Many ambulances entered the camp and strong army forces deployed in the surrounding area, according to a photojournalist of the French Agency.

A military source said the warehouse, which also housed food, belonged to the Palestinian group Hamas. There was a “huge explosion” and “there are injured,” he added, without elaborating.

Maha, a resident of the camp, said she heard a first explosion and many more followed.

Lebanon is hosting more than 175,000 Palestinian refugees, most in 12 camps across the country, according to official figures dating back to 2020. Unofficial estimates put the number of Palestinian refugees at up to 500,000.

Under a multi-year agreement, the Lebanese army does not enter these camps, where security has been provided by Palestinian factions.

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