An explosion in Beirut on Friday killed at least six people, including a former Lebanese ambassador to the U.S. who was a leader of the Western-backed coalition that opposes the militant group Hezbollah.
More than 70 other people were injured by the car bomb, authorities say.
Hezbollah is allied with Syrian President Bashar Assad. The explosion in neighboring Lebanon is another sign that the conflict in Syria is spilling across the border. As The Associated Press writes, “several recent bombings have targeted senior Hezbollah figures or districts where the Shiite group dominates.” Now Hezbollah’s Sunni opponents appear to have been targeted.
Correspondent Susannah George, who is in Beirut, tells our Newscast Desk that “the blast ripped leaves off trees and set cars ablaze in a business district. … Nearby office buildings and shops had their windows blown out. … This is the second bombing to hit Beirut in the past two months. In November, a pair of suicide car bombs exploded outside the Iranian embassy.”
The former ambassador, Mohammed Chatah, was a senior aide to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Lebanese security officials tell the AP that Chatah was headed to a meeting at Hariri’s home when the blast occurred.
Chatah was also a former finance minister. The BBC adds that he was “a staunch critic of President Assad and Hezbollah.”
Update at 8:20 a.m. ET. Death Toll Raised:
The AP now reports that at least six people were killed by the blast. Earlier, news outlets were reporting there had been five deaths. We’ve updated the top of this post to reflect the new estimate.
Read original article-Published December 27, 2013 6:30 AM
Bomb Blast In Beirut Kills Former Ambassador To U.S.
- The flag flies on public buildings and is often waved at sporting events, but it has not been a symbol the French personally embrace. That has changed dramatically in the wake of the Nov. 13 attacks.
- Studies recommended relocating villages like Newtok, Kivalina and Shishmaref. But more than 10 years later they are still there, with waves getting higher and storms getting stronger.
- New research suggests Pacific halibut may adapt favorably to increased ocean temperatures. Greenland halibut may not be so lucky.
- “So what we’re seeing here is a giant step — a beautiful step — backward in time, where we’re remembering that there is no us versus them. There’s only us, and we are the people, and the people are the police."