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Lebanese information minister resigns in wake of massive deadly blast

Lebanese Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad announced her resignation on Sunday, in the wake of last week's massive deadly explosion in Beirut.

Lebanese Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad announced her resignation on Sunday, in the wake of last week’s massive deadly explosion in Beirut.

“I apologize to all the Lebanese whom we were not able to fulfil their aspirations … change has become out of reach … and since the reality does not match the ambition and after the horror of the Beirut disaster, I submit my resignation from the government,” she said in a televised statement on Sunday.

Earlier this week, a huge explosion ripped through Beirut’s port, killing at least 158 people, wounding 6,000, displacing some 250,000 to 300,000 from their homes and inflicting massive destruction across the city.

Abdel Samad is the second minister to resign from the government this week.

One day before the blast, Lebanese Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti resigned to protest the government’s poor performance, warning that Lebanon would become a “failed state.” Questions have been raised about why authorities allowed a stockpile of potential explosives to linger for years near a major population centre.

On Saturday, thousands of Lebanese mourned the victims of the blast with anger and protests that turned violent. A police officer died and at least 238 people were wounded.

The protests prompted Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab to propose early elections.

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