BEIRUT, Aug 15 – At least 20 people were killed in a fuel tanker explosion in Akkar in northern Lebanon, the Lebanese Red Cross said on its verified Twitter account.
Reuters was unable to immediately reach Red Cross and Lebanese officials for details.
At least 7 were injured and being taken to local hospitals which are in dire need of donated blood, the Red Cross said.
Lebanon is currently experiencing a severe fuel shortage and the past week has seen multiple incidents of tankers being hijacked. Hospitals have warned that they are low on fuel and may be forced to shut down.
“The Akkar massacre is no different from the port massacre,” said former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on Twitter, referencing an explosion at Beirut’s port one year ago, and calling on Lebanese officials including the president to take responsibility and resign.
Hariri is the leading Sunni Muslim politician, the dominant religion in Lebanon’s north, and has been in open opposition to Lebanese President Michel Aoun.
Gebran Bassil, who heads the party founded by Aoun, wrote on Twitter that “our hearts are with families in Altalil and Akkar tonight.”