Beirut explosion rocks Lebanon's capital city: Live updates – CNN

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, walks with Lebanese President Michel Aoun at Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 6. Lebanese Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron has said “unconditional help is the priority” in the wake of the devastating Beirut blast, but also warned that unless reforms were implemented “Lebanon will continue to sink.”

Macron landed in the Lebanese capital on Thursday and was welcomed by President Michel Aoun.

Speaking shortly after his arrival, Macron stressed that there needed to be a fight against corruption in the country’s energy sector and public contracts.

Officials have blamed the devastating explosion on 2,750 metric tons of poorly stored ammonium nitrate.

There is mounting public anger in Lebanon at the political class over revelations that the blast may be linked to government negligence.

Macron added that the Lebanese authorities have a “historic responsibility” in the current crisis.

It is a political, moral, economic and financial crisis whose first victim is the Lebanese population,” he said. 

France has sent an aid package to Lebanon which includes two military planes, 55 personnel, 15 tons of equipment and a mobile clinic able care for 500 wounded people.

One French national was killed in the blast and 24 others were injured, Junior Minister to France’s Foreign Ministry Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne told France Inter radio on Thursday.

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