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Lebanon begins search for answers and nears end of quest for justice

As a probe into the massive port blast begins in Beirut, a verdict is expected on the killing of former PM Rafik Hariri

A military judge in Beirut will, on 17 August, start examining a report into the cataclysmic explosion that levelled parts of the city 12 days ago, and determine who might face charges. A day later, five thousand miles away in The Hague, an international tribunal is due to hand down a verdict into a blast that took place 15 years earlier, killing the country’s former prime minister, Rafiq Hariri and unleashing a generation of havoc, from which it is yet to recover.

The tales behind the two explosions are the most important events in the modern history of Lebanon. The 2005 assassination of a leader credited by many with leading a broken nation from the rubble of war had remained a searing wound, while the annihilation of much of Beirut on 4 August has left gaping new scars on the country’s psyche.

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