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It has also been used in several terrorist attacks, including the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 by right-wing extremists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nicholls, which destroyed a federal building and killed 168 people.
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Since then Sri Lankans have largely embraced their populist platform, which emerged from a wave of nationalism in the wake of the deadly 2019 Easter bombings by Muslim radicals that killed 279 people.
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Less than a month after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the ICRC was already questioning the lawfulness of nuclear weapons, appealing to states to ban their use: “Only a unified world policy can save the world from destruction,” Dr Junod wrote.
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The bombing of Nagasaki three days later was the second and final time the atomic bomb saw use in war.
· Beirut explosion in pictures: Staggering damage caused by the devastating blast - photos →
The blast for many has triggered memories of the 1975-90 civil war and its aftermath, when Lebanese endured heavy shelling, car bombings and Israeli air raids.
· Certain Precious Metals Can Hedge Political Risks →
The most notable spikes occurred in April 1986 (U.S. bombing of Libya), January 1991 (First Gulf War), September 2001 (9/11 terror attacks), March 2003 (Second Gulf War), August 2014 (Russia-Ukraine crisis) and November 2015 (Paris terror attacks).
· Ammonium nitrate: What is the chemical blamed for Beirut explosion, and how could it produce such a powerful blast? →
Many famous bombing incidents – including those carried by the IRA in London through the 90s – made use of the explosive powers of fertiliser.
· First Thing: Lebanon was already in crisis – and then came the blast →
As Julian Borger reports, historians and the military are still debating whether the bombing ended the war, thus saving countless more lives – or whether it was an unconscionable act of brutality.
· Beirut explosions: Aerial footage shows extent of devastation →
Our reporter, Bel Trew, was a few kilometres away from the epicentre but said she had never felt a blast of that strength in her decade of covering conflict, war and suicide bombings.