Many casualties as huge explosion rocks Beirut

WARNING: CONTAINS DISTRESSING IMAGES

Huge explosions have rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut – causing extensive damage in the port area of the city. The force of the blast was so powerful it was felt around 150 miles away in Cyprus.

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The Lebanese Red Cross said there had been hundreds of casualties while one report said at least 10 people had died. It’s still not clear what caused the blast – but the Prime Minister has declared tomorrow will be a day of national mourning.

Viewers may find some of the scenes in this report distressing.

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In This Story: Cyprus

Cyprus, officially called the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main parts: the area under the effective control of the Republic, located in the south and west and comprising about 59% of the island’s area, and the north, administered by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, covering about 36% of the island’s area. Another nearly 4% of the island’s area is covered by a UN buffer zone.

The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, remain under the UK’s control according to the London and Zürich Agreements.

The Republic of Cyprus has been a member of the Commonwealth since 1961 and joined the European Union on 1 May 2004.

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