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Lebanon wants Interpol to detain two Russians over Beirut bombing Middle East



Interpol has demanded the arrest of the captain and owner of a ship carrying thousands of tonnes of ammonium nitrate in Beirut seven years ago.

The lead investigator in the August explosion in the port of Beirut, which killed nearly 200 and wounded thousands, issued arrest warrants for the captain and owner of a ship carrying thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate to Beirut seven years ago, the state National News Agency (NNA) said.

Nearly 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of Beirut exploded on August 4, killing 193, injuring about 6,500 and leaving nearly 300,000 homeless.

On Thursday, Judge Fadi Savvan referred the case to the state prosecution, which asked Interpol to detain the two Russian citizens.

The NNA did not name the two men, but Boris Prokoshev was the captain who sailed in an MV Rhosus from Turkey to Beirut in 201

3. Igor Grechushkin, a Russian businessman living on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, bought the cargo ship in 2012 from Cypriot businessman Haralambos. Manoli.

Grechushkin was questioned by police at the request of Interpol’s Lebanese office in August.

More than two dozen people, most of them port and customs officials, have been detained since the blast, considered one of the largest reported non-nuclear explosions.

Ammonium nitrate arrived in Lebanon in September 2013 aboard a Russian cargo ship flying the Moldovan flag. According to information from the ship tracking site, Fleetmon Rhosus was heading from Georgia to Mozambique.

The cargo was then unloaded and placed in Hangar 12 at the port of Beirut, a large gray structure facing the country’s main north-south highway at the capital’s main entrance.

Ammonium nitrate remains in storage until it explodes. Rhosus never left the port and sank there in February 2018, according to Lebanese official documents.

The blast further shook a nation struggling with its worst crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

The economy is collapsing after decades of government waste, corruption and rising debt. Banks have frozen people from their savings and the currency has collapsed.

Lebanon, meanwhile, is also struggling to cope with the spread of the new coronavirus.

Schools have not yet opened after a jump in cases that have risen to more than 35,000 infections since the blast, including at least 340 deaths since Feb. 9.




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