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US says Hezbollah storing explosive chemical that caused Beirut blast in Europe

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Hezbollah has stored ammonium nitrate, a chemical that can be used to make explosives, in several European countries, a senior US State Department official said Thursday.

Nathan Sales, the State Department’s coordinator for counter-terrorism, made the accusation as he appealed to countries in Europe and elsewhere to impose bans on the terror group.

Hezbollah operatives have moved ammonium nitrate from Belgium to France, Greece, Italy, Spain and Switzerland in recent years, and are suspected of still storing the material throughout Europe, Sales said.

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Ammonium nitrate is the chemical compound that caused the catastrophic blast at Beirut’s port last month. It is commonly used as a fertilizer, but can be used to make explosives, and has been used in previous terror attacks.

Sales, without offering evidence, said the US believes that Iran-backed Hezbollah has since 2012 transported ammonium nitrate around Europe in first aid kits with cold packs that contain the compound. The United States believes these supplies are still in place throughout Europe, possibly in Greece, Italy and Spain.........

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