Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Lebanon's militant group Hezbollah, said on Friday that the warehouse that exploded in Beirut's port, killing over a hundred and wounding thousands, did not contain any of the organization's weaponry.
"Several factors who opppose Hezbollah have started spreading lies that the hangar is a weapons, missile or ammunitions depot" for the group, Nasrallah said, adding that this was done in order to "terrorize the Lebanese people and paint Hezbollah as responsible for the disaster that befell them."
He explicitly said his organization, who lost some of its own in the explosion, had no weapons of any kind stored at the port and added that "international media outlets know this. And also the official version clarified this. We as Hezbollah know perhaps more about what goes on at the Haifa port than what happens in the Beirut port."
In his first public speech since the blast, the Shiite leader said he will not address politics at this time, since Lebanon now needs "solidarity and calm," but said that the group will make their "strong position clear."
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Nasrallah called for a just and transparent investigation into the incident and said that those who are responsible must not be protected and must face the consequences and be tried by the fullest extent of the law.
He praised the solidarity shown by countries around the world and said this presented an opportunity for Lebanon, which was already grappling with a deep economic crisis.
A massive explosion shook Lebanon's capital Beirut on Tuesday, killing about 135 people and wounding over 5,000, with bodies remaining buried under the rubble, and dozens missing for hours.
Beirut is in a two-week state of emergency after the blast flattened much of the city's port, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors as a giant mushroom cloud rose above the capital.
Reuters contributed to this report.