Home inContext Two Bombings Rock Beirut

Two Bombings Rock Beirut

Michael Johnson

In two separate incidents this week, two bombs exploded in Lebanon’s capital city, Beirut. Government security personnel remain on high alert, setting up more checkpoints and deploying additional street patrols. Both attacks highlight continuing low-level conflict between extremist Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Lebanon.

Early on Tuesday morning, a General Security Agency official died after a car bomb exploded in a mainly Shia neighborhood in southern Beirut. The blast, close to an army checkpoint, injured 12 other people watching a World Cup game at a cafe nearby. Damage from the bomb shattered windows in nearby buildings and set adjacent cars ablaze.

A forensic inspector works on the site of the explosion that occurred in Beirut. (Photo: The Telegraph)

The next day, a suicide bomber blew himself up as security forces raided his hotel room. Authorities said that the Saudi-born national, a member of a group called Brigades of the Free Sunni Muslims, wounded three officers in the upscale district of Raouche. Police arrested the man’s suspected accomplice, also a radicalized Saudi citizen.

Sunni extremists have claimed responsibility for attacks against Shiites in recent months saying they are revenge for Hezbollah’s support for the Syrian government. Indeed, with support from Iran, Hezbollah’s troops have been fighting alongside the Syrian Army to oppose Western-backed rebels and Sunni terrorists. The civil war has also spilled over into other parts of Lebanon, including rocket attacks on Shiite towns in the Bekaa Valley and interreligious targeted bombings in other coastal cities, such as Tripoli.