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Lebanon in Crisis Amid Ministerial Resignations, Protests Over Beirut Explosion

Over the past several days, three top Lebanese cabinet ministers have resigned. The country is currently on the brink of collapse following extreme pressure from protestors to account for last week’s deadly explosion in Beirut and hold those responsible accountable. The death toll from the blast has reached 300 as rescue teams continue to search the rubble for those who are still missing. Thousands of others were injured, overwhelming Lebanese hospitals already stressed under the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, Justice Minister Marie-Claude Najm quit, condemning the conduct of the Lebanese government in the aftermath of the explosion. Najm gave a statement in which she claimed Lebanon was entering a critical care period. Yesterday, Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad and Environment Minister Damianos Kattar resigned, citing the explosion as reason for leaving office. Henry Helo, a member of parliament, also resigned today. The mass exit of government officials is fueling the sense of crisis surrounding Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s rule.

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