Lebanon's state news agency says the Lebanese Customs Chief Badri Daher has been questioned by a judge over this week's deadly explosion in Beirut, after which the judge placed him under arrest.

Iran PressMiddle East: According to the report, Judge Ghassan Khoury decided Badri Daher should remain in custody after questioning him for five hours on Friday. Sixteen other port officials and staffers are also under arrest.

The National News Agency gave no further details about the arrest, three days after large amounts of ammonium nitrate exploded at Beirut's port. The explosion killed 154 people, wounded more than 5,000, and caused wide destruction.

Notably, local media reported that the former Lebanese Customs Chief Shafiq Merhi was also detained after being questioned on Friday.

Daher told the Associated Press on Thursday that he and his predecessor sent six letters, the last of which was in 2017, to a judge, warning repeatedly that the huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate stored in the port was a danger. They had asked judicial officials for a ruling on a way to remove it.     207/214

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