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Beirut blast: Foreign Minister disputes President Trump’s bomb claims

Foreign Minister Marise Payne has contradicted US President Donald Trump’s claims that “a bomb of some kind” caused a lethal blast in Beirut.

Ms Payne confirmed to Deborah Knight Australian authorities believe the explosion was caused by an industrial accident, not an attack.

“This is, it seems, just a terrible, terrible accident, certainly on the advice that we have received.

“The impact will be felt for a very, very long time.”

She said the Australian government is preparing to offer aid to the Lebanese government.

“The COVID-19 challenge of course complicates that as well, in terms of international movement.

“Being conscious of that, we’ll provide what support we can.

“It’s fair to say that 2020 really is delivering some of the most extraordinary challenges we have ever seen in our lives.”

Australians in Beirut and their loved ones are encouraged to contact DFAT on +61 2 6261 3305.

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Image: Nine News