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Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada tweeted his condolences to Lebanese citizens after a huge explosion hit the Lebanon capital, Beirut.

He tweeted : "Absolutely tragic news coming out of Beirut. Canadians are thinking of everyone who has been injured and all those who are trying to locate a friend or family member or have lost a loved one. We’re keeping you in our thoughts and we stand ready to assist in any way we can."

A massive explosion rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors as a giant mushroom cloud rose above the capital.

Lebanese Red Cross official Georges Kettaneh said there were many dead and wounded, but did not have an exact figure, just saying there were hundreds of casualties.

Footage showed what appeared to be a fire, followed by crackling lights and then a larger explosion as an enormous cloud of smoke engulfed the area around the Port of Beirut.