Blast rocks Palestinian camp in south Lebanon

Hamas, authorities blame each other

A large explosion rocked a Palestinian camp in the southern Lebanese port city of Tyre on Friday night, causing a number of injuries and leading to reports of a number of deaths.

The state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported an unspecified number of deaths and injuries while a Palestinian source inside the camp said at least 12 persons had been injured and there were an unknown number of fatalities.

A security source said fatalities had not been recorded but there may be some in the collapsed building where the explosion took place.

The NNA reported that the blast emanated from a Hamas weapons depot in the Burj al-Shemali camp and a judge had ordered security forces to launch an investigation.

Shehab News Agency, seen as close to Hamas, quoted a Palestinian source as saying the explosion was caused by the ignition of oxygen canisters stored for use in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hamas has not officially commented. It maintains a presencein a number of Palestinian camps in Lebanon.

The area surrounding the blast had been evacuated and rescue crews had deployed, the Palestinian source said.

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