Pakistan Beefs Up Port Security In Wake Of Beirut Blast - Navy

KARACHI (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 12th February, 2021) Pakistan is taking precautionary measures to ensure security and effective management of its sea gates following the devastating blast in the Lebanese port of Beirut, Commander of 25th Destroyer Squadron Commodore Imtiaz Ali said on the sidelines of the flag hosting ceremony for the multinational AMAN-2021 drills in the port of Karachi on Friday.

"The trade is running through sea so I think that all the ports in the world are critical. So here in Pakistan, we are taking steps to ensure the safety of the port," Ali said when asked about Karachi's harbor security.

A powerful explosion rocked the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, killing over 200 people, injuring several thousand others and causing damage to hundreds of buildings and vehicles.

According to the government, the blast resulted from improper storage of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate in a port warehouse. A state of emergency was lifted in Beirut only on September 19. Following the destructive explosion, the Lebanese capital saw a series of anti-government rallies, which prompted government resignation.

The 7th edition of the Multinational Naval Exercise AMAN 2021 in the Arabian Sea is running from February 11-16. The naval drills organized by Islamabad are held every two years since 2007. This year, the biennial event will involve navies of over 40 countries, including Russia, China, NATO nations, as well as ASEAN and African Union member states. For the Russian Navy, these are the first in 10 years joint drills with NATO forces.