Hiroshima like massive explosion hits Beirut, injuring hundreds.

"It's like Hiroshima," the mayor of Beirut told the Lebanese Broadcasting Company, a local broadcaster. There is lots of destruction and the wounded are lying in the streets."

A large explosion rocked the port area of Lebanon's capital, Beirut, on Tuesday, 4th Aug 2020, injuring hundreds and causing sweeping destruction in a densely populated part of the city.

Lebanese security services have said the blast was caused by a fire in a depot of highly explosive material, including Sodium nitrate. They said that material was confiscated from a ship months ago and stored there.

Images and videos on social media appear to show large plumes of smoke and damaged buildings in the Middle Eastern country that left hundreds injured. The Government Palace - the home of Lebanon's PM Hassan Diab - is said to have been damaged in the blast, and his wife and daughter were injured in the explosion.

The BBC says the explosion comes as a verdict is due in a trial over the killing of ex-PM Rafik Hariri in 2005.

It comes at a time when Lebanon is passing through its worst economic and financial crisis in decades.

It also comes amid rising tensions between Israel and the militant Hezbollah group along Lebanon's southern border.

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