Landmark Lebanon hotel closes over economic crisis
The general secretary of the party, Nizar Najarian, was killed in the explosion. He was chairing a meeting for the party at its headquarters near the site of the blast. Marwan Hamade, from the party of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, and independent lawmaker Paula Yacoubian also announced their resignations.
Lebanon has arrested 20 people, including port and customs officials, and placed everyone who had an official role at the port since 2014 under house arrest. A team of French explosive experts arrived in Beirut Thursday to help with the investigation that's being led by the Lebanese army and police intelligence.
The explosion came as Lebanon is reeling under its worst financial meltdown in decades and the government's inability to implement reforms and tackle corruption as demanded by the international community.
The administration is in talks with the International Monetary Fund for a $10 billion loan program, but those negotiations had stalled over internal disputes.