German diplomat killed in Beirut blast

In the devastating explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut, an employee of the German Embassy was also killed, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced Thursday.

German diplomat killed in Beirut blast
Lebenon's capital of Beirut on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA

“Our worst fears have been confirmed. A member of our Embassy in Beirut has died in her apartment as a result of the explosion,” he said of the first confirmed German fatality.

“All members of the Foreign Ministry are deeply saddened by the loss of their colleague.”

Maas expressed his and colleagues' condolences to the relatives and staff of the Embassy in Beirut.

“My thanks go to all those who, like our late colleague, take great personal risks every day all over the world in the service of our country,” Maas said.

A tweet from the Foreign Office expressing Maas' condolences.

READ ALSO: German embassy staff among thousands wounded in Beirut blast

The massive detonation in the port of Beirut on Tuesday has killed more than 130 people and injured around 5,000.

Rescue workers expect the number of victims to rise further. The explosion destroyed large parts of the port and surrounding areas.

Germany has pledged aid to Beirut, both in the form of financial support and Germany a large-scale Bundeswehr mission.

The country's Air Force is providing its Airbus A310 “MedEvac”, which is equipped to transport seriously injured people.

The exact cause of the detonation is still unclear. According to various reports, it is connected with large quantities of ammonium nitrate which are said to have been stored in the port for years without any safety precautions.



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Gothenburg apartment blast suspect found dead

Prosecutors have said that the man suspected as being behind a detonation in Gothenburg last week has been found dead on Wednesday after an apparent suicide.

Police by a Gothenburg pier
Police close to where the suspect's body was found in the water. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

Named as Mark Lorentzon by Swedish media, the man was suspected of being behind the pre-dawn blast last Tuesday that injured 16 people at the building where he lived.

City workers pulled a body out of a central Gothenburg waterway early Wednesday that “was identified as that of the man sought by police and prosecutors… after the explosion in a building,” prosecutors said in a statement.

They added that suicide was the most plausible cause of death. The man was the subject of an international arrest warrant issued earlier this week.

The suspect, who had been due to be evicted from the building on the day of the explosion, had vanished without a trace.

The blast, which sparked a major fire, landed 16 people in hospital including four with serious injuries, and residents of 140 apartments were evacuated.