Bomb Blast Targeting US Officials in Beirut Kills 4

At least 4 people were killed when a bomb exploded in a Christian neighborhood of Beirut today.

Lebanese soldiers and rescue workers work at the site of a bomb blast in a northern Beirut suburb. Three people were killed in a remote-controlled bomb blast that targeted a US embassy car in the Lebanese capital on Tuesday, the latest in a string of attacks in the troubled country. (AFP/Sarkis Yeretsian)

A bombing aimed at a US Embassy car killed 4 people in Beirut today.
Reuters reported:

A car bomb damaged a U.S. diplomatic vehicle in Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least three people and wounding 16, but the U.S. State Department said no Americans were hurt by the blast.

The bomb sent a column of smoke into the sky, tore masonry from buildings and destroyed at least six cars in a Christian suburb north of Beirut, as well as damaging the armored four-by-four embassy car.

The blast coincided with President George W. Bush’s visit to Saudi Arabia as part of a week-long tour of U.S. Middle East allies.

Bush is not visiting Lebanon, though Washington has been a strong backer of the Beirut government in its power struggle with the Hezbollah-led opposition backed by Syria.

Opening Lines has more on the deadly blast:

Naharnet has the most plausible explanation for this so far:

“A Lebanese security source told Naharnet the booby-trapped car, parked on the seafront road across the industrial neighborhood, was detonated as the U.S. Embassy’s bullet proof Sports Utility Vehicle drove by it.

Another car, a BMW, was trying to overtake the U.S. Embassy vehicle and ‘took the brunt of the blast. The two people in the BMW, the driver and the person sitting next to him, were killed,’ the source said.”


Lebanese firemen extinguish a car burning at the site of an explosion in a suburb north of Beirut January 15, 2008. (REUTERS/Rafi Barbarian)

Beirut Spring adds this:

If you ask me, this large provocation of American interests without going all the way (like targeting the Ambassador for example), resembles very much the Iranian provocation of American warships in the straight of Hormuz last week.

America is being tested and George bush is given the salutary fireworks while he’s in the region… I could be speculating too early, but what ever it is, it doesn’t bode well for the days ahead.

The BBC also has video of the aftermath… but you can’t embed their video.

Counterterrorism Blog blames Iran and Hezbollah for the blast.

UPDATE: The Jawa Report says that radical Islamists are threatening Bush with a dirty bomb today!

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