UN warns of Lebanon humanitarian crisis after Beirut blast
UN agencies have warned of a humanitarian crisis in Lebanon after Tuesday's devastating blast in Beirut.
Lebanon was already suffering a major economic downturn before the explosion, which left at least 154 people dead, 5,000 injured and 300,000 homeless.
The World Food Programme said the damage to Beirut's port would interrupt food supplies and push prices up.
The World Health Organization said the health system was seriously damaged, with three hospitals out of action.
Meanwhile, Lebanese President Michel Aoun rejected calls for an international investigation into the explosion, and said local authorities would examine whether it was triggered by "external interference" such as a bomb.
The leader of the militant Hezbollah movement, Hassan Nasrallah, also denied allegations that it had stored weapons or ammunition at the port.
The government has said the blast was the result of the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been stored unsafely at the port for six years.
The decision to keep so much explosive material in a warehouse near the city centre has been met with disbelief and fury by many Lebanese, who have long accused the political elite of corruption, neglect and mismanagement.