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Lebanon government resigns as public anger mounts

Lebanon’s government resigned on Monday as the prime minister blamed “political corruption” for a massive explosion at Beirut’s port that killed more than 160 people and devastated the capital.

“I discovered that the system of corruption is bigger than the state,” Hassan Diab, prime minister, said in an address, blaming resistance by entrenched political elites for his lack of reforms.

His resignation came amid intensifying anger among Lebanese people towards their leaders, whom many blamed for last week’s blast.

The explosion was caused by more than 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which can be used as a fertiliser but also for explosives. It had been stored at the port for six years.

Public fury spilled on to the streets over the weekend as thousands of people, some erecting scaffolds to hang effigies of their leaders, called for regime change.

But many Lebanese are likely to question whether the resignations will bring genuine change to what they perceive to be a rotten political system.

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