Chile arrests Portuguese man sought over Beirut blast

The site of the Beirut port explosion in Lebanon on Feb 18, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

SANTIAGO (AFP) - Chilean police said on Wednesday (April 20) they had arrested a Portuguese man wanted by Interpol over the 2020 Beirut port blast that killed over 200 people.

The man, whose name was not divulged, arrived in Santiago on a flight from Spain, and was put on a plane back to Madrid, according to a police statement.

He is wanted for allegedly having brought "explosive elements" into Lebanon with links to the August 2020 explosion, said airport police official Christian Saez.

The man was prevented from entering Chile and put on a plane back to Spain in coordination with Interpol, said Saez.

The massive Beirut port explosion devastated entire neighbourhoods of the capital.

Authorities said the blast was caused by a shipment of ammonium nitrate fertiliser that caught fire after being impounded for years in haphazard conditions.

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