I am publishing this piece in an attempt to preserve one account of the events of August 4 2020 in Beirut, the Lebanese capital. That evening, one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history destroyed swathes of the city. The blast wasn’t caused by a missile strike, but by thousands of tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate left abandoned at the city’s seaport. Senior Lebanese officials were aware of the stockpile, but did little to dispose of it before it was too late.

The motivation to publish this account is driven in large part by a frantic urge not to…

Lizzie Porter

Journalist based in Iraq.

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