Explosion Rips Though the Heart of Beirut

Mohammed Chatah, a Sunni former minister and ambassador to U.S., was reportedly killed in the attack just a few hundred meters from the government headquarters and parliament in Lebanese capital

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Bilal Hussein / AP

A man carries an injured woman at the scene of an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Dec. 27, 2013.

Updated: 7:58 a.m. EST

A strong explosion shook the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Friday, sending black clouds billowing just a few hundred meters from the government’s headquarters and parliament. Mohammed Chatah, a Sunni former minister and ambassador to U.S. who opposed Syrian President Bashar Assad, was killed in the attack, state television reported.

Troops and emergency services were seen racing to the area. Although the exact cause of the latest explosion remains unclear, Lebanon has experienced a wave of bombings over recent months as tensions rise regarding the civil war in neighboring Syria. Five other people including Chatah’s driver were apparently killed in the attack, while more than 70 were wounded.

This article has been updated from the original with the latest details and casualty figures.

[AP]

2 comments
Tiger-Pi
Tiger-Pi

I fear Lebanon has also been pulled into the  mire of the Syrian conflict . As Stephen Swain says, it does not make any sense at all for Lebanon and its citizens to be sacrificed in the name of religion or sects . We cannot forget how Lebanon was laid waste by wars not so far ago.  This appears to be a part of a long term conspiracy by Hizbollah and Al Quaeda to    enflame West Asia in mindless sectarian conflicts. They have done the same in Iraq and Turkey is next. Setting off bombs is a cowardly act as these so called 'religious groups' in the Middle East  do not have any stomach for an open fight. 

StephenSwain
StephenSwain

What kind of a barbarian does such a thing in the name of religion?  Where are the mullahs when these things happen?  Why don't they issue Fatwahs against bombers, condemning them to be shunned or turned in?  This makes no sense at all.