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Beirutis reunited with their pets after devastating blast

A rescue worker removes a kitten from the wreckage in Beirut – Elizabeth Fitt /© EF Images 2020On the day after the Beirut blast, Kamal Khatib ignored the warnings of Lebanese civil defence to make one more rescue from a crumbling apartment in the Gemmayze neighbourhood. As he descended the stairs on his way out, he could feel the century-old building shaking, and minutes later, the second floor collapsed. The risk had been worth it, the 48-year-old volunteer said, he had saved a life.Shortly afterwards at a nearby hospital, a tearful and injured resident was reunited with her beloved siamese cat.“You don’t feel the danger… it’s complete focus for the animals,” Mr Khatib says later, his lacerated arms a testament to the number of terrified cats he has pulled from the rubble. “It’s not taking risk, it’s rescuing.”The August 4 explosion of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate at Beirut port destroyed an estimated 50,000 homes in the Lebanese capital, killing at least 17
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