Lebanese PM steps down in wake of Beirut explosion, protests
By BASSEM MROUE
BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s prime minister says he is stepping down from his job in the wake of the Beirut port explosion last week that triggered public fury and mass protests.
In a brief televised speech, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Monday that he is taking “a step back” so he can stand with the people “and fight the battle for change alongside them.”
He said: “I declare today the resignation of this government. May God protect Lebanon,” repeating the last phrase three times.
A brief while earlier, Diab’s Cabinet resigned. The developments follow a weekend of anti-government protests in the wake of the Aug. 4 explosion in Beirut’s port that caused widespread destruction, killed at least 160 people and injured about 6,000 others.
Diab blamed corrupt politicians who preceded him for the “earthquake” that has hit Lebanon.
“They (political class) should have been ashamed of themselves because their corruption is what has led to this disaster that had been hidden for seven years,” he added.