Lebanese government in crisis.

Lebanese government in crisis.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for quick action to help Lebanon as he opened an international aid summit five days after the devastating explosion in Beirut.

Officials estimate the blast at a warehouse, which stored more than 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, caused up to $15 billion (£11.5bn) in damage.

The explosion left at least 158 people dead, 5,000 injured and 300,000 homeless

On Saturday several thousand people took to the streets in anger, with police firing tear gas at stone-throwing protesters and some demonstrators storming government ministries.

In a televised address, Lebanese PM Hassan Diab said he would ask for early elections as a way out of the crisis. The issue will be discussed in cabinet today.

Lebanon was already mired in a deep economic crisis and struggling to tackle the coronavirus pandemic before the explosion tore through Beirut.

An anti-government protest movement erupted last October, fuelled by the financial situation and a collapsing currency.

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