June 28, 2022

Around a dozen people injured in explosion at south Lebanon Palestinian camp

A massive explosion rocked a Palestinian camp in the southern Lebanese port city of Tire Friday night, injuring about 12 people, according to rescue workers at the site and a Palestinian source inside the camp.

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The state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported an unspecified number of deaths, but local media and civil defense workers at the scene said there were no fatalities. A security source also said that no deaths were recorded.

The National News Agency reported that the explosion came from a Hamas weapons depot in the northern Burj refugee camp, and that a judge had ordered the security forces to open an investigation.

A number of Palestinian armed factions, including Hamas and Fatah, actually control nearly a dozen Palestinian camps in the country, which the Lebanese authorities do not enter by custom.

The Shehab News Agency, which is close to Hamas, quoted a Palestinian source as saying that the explosion was caused by the ignition of oxygen canisters stored for use in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The security source said the fire has since been brought under control.

Hamas has not officially commented.

The Palestinian source said that the area surrounding the explosion was evacuated and rescue teams were deployed.

Videos from the scene released by local media show a number of small, bright red flashes over the southern city, followed by a large explosion and the sound of glass breaking.