Monday, June 04, 2007

Breaking News: Explosion Hits Beirut

An explosion has been reported in the Sid el Baucherieh suburb of Beirut, next to the Mar Ta2la church. The exact time of the explosion was 8:15 pm, coinciding with a meeting of security officials at the Prime Minister's offices in the Saraya.

The number of wounded has been increased from 7 to 10!

Reports indicating that a bus was targeted have been confirmed. The 24 seat capacity bus was empty at the time of the attack, and was parked on the side of the road.

The Abdel Massih center in Sid el Baucherieh was heavily damaged in the attack, as was the neighborhoud in general as windows and cars were shattered by the explosion.

Unconfirmed sources in Lebanon have reported that one man, suspected of fleeing the scene directly after the explosion, has been arrested by security services. Reports indicate that he was fleeing in the direction of the town of Fanar.

Those wounded in the attack have been taken to the Mar Youssef Hospital in the Dora suburb of Beirut.

The Sid el Baucherieh suburb is located to the North-East of the capital in the, predominantly Christian, Metn province. The area is adjacent to scenes of previous terrorist attacks (namely the assassination of Minister of Industry, Pierre Gemayel, in the Zalka municipality in November 2006), and marks the continuation of a recent string of bombings believed to be coordinated by Syrian Intelligence agencies and carried out by their subordinates in Lebanon.

Images as seen on Yahoo!News


  1. Anonymous8:53 PM

    Even after chap 7, bashar's boys strike again and again, it's time for international sanctions against Syria, they don not understand any other language

  2. On May 22nd we reported:

    Meanwhile, the Lebanese Forces official website is reporting the arrest of a Syrian man in the Sid el Baouchrieh suburb of the capital, after he was stopped by an ISF patrol and found to be in possession of bomb making materials.

  3. Reports are coming in that the number of wounded has risen to 10

    stay tuned for more updates...

  4. Unconfirmed reports of more than one suspect apprehended.

  5. And you wonder what the purpose is of these attacks. Do they really think that the army will back down? So pointless all this...

    BTW, can anyone confirm Sabra & Shatila camps are heating up? Thanks.

  6. The bomb was reported to have been made up of 30 Kg of TNT.

  7. Anonymous10:38 PM

    Suspicion is also being cast on the driver of the bus...

  8. Renée C.12:13 AM

    please keep the updates coming, and thank you...

  9. Renée C.4:32 AM

    Meanwhile, at the Nahr el Bared camp--

    1:14 am Tripoli - The fighting at the Nahr el Bared refugee camp has escalated. The Lebanese army appears to be in the final phase of finishing off the militants of Fatah al-Islam; It has been pounding the positions of the militants continuously for the past hour.

  10. Anonymous10:12 AM


    I am going to go to Beirut next week for an exhibition!

    What do you think about the safety??

    Ozge from Istanbul/Turkey

  11. What is abundant here is nationalism and patriotism. What is lacking is objectivity.

    This is yet another bomb poisitioned and timed to minimise loss of life.

    Syria has never cared about Lebanese lives. Salafists and wahabis have never cared about loss of life of anyone.

    Lebanon has more enemies from within and without than just Syria and these extremisits.

    So, I would ask you all, if your mission is to protect Lebanon and not just to persecute Syria (as enjoyable as that may be) lets debate with our eyes open and stop giving our other enemies the cover of the knee-jerk "Syria did it" response. Lets make sure its not just the Syrian regime but all those that would profit from Lebanons demise do not gain any advantage from the situation.

    Just a thought.

  12. @mzm,

    Ah, but don't you know that Syria is the new Israel?

    (insert symbol for sarcastic smile>

  13. riemer,
    Yes alas we are so busy arguing about who is more "patriotic" and who is the greater enemy that all we are doing is becoming our own greatest enemy. We are falling for the same old trick of divide and conquer that has been used on the Arabs for hundreds of years and still we don't learn to be more objective in our views. We emotionally fly off to our extreme idealogical corners, hating those on the other side more than those who have actually done us harm.

    Some of our politicians have a love of power and the superficial prestige and actual wealth it brings them. Others have ideological goals;

    Both claim to love Lebanon and are protecting it from foreign powers.

    Neither has put forward an agenda that is either even remotely free from the agendas of their respective backers or clear in its protection of the Lebanese people from ALL foreign states.

    What happens? We lose and ALL our enemies win. Syria wins because we prove to the world that we are not mature enough to look after ourselves. Israel wins because with Lebanons instability there is no local threat to its tourism and it can continue to abuse Lebanese sovreignty. The US wins because those that oppose its regional agenda are too busy to oppose it.

    We the Lebanese, lose. Again.

  14. Don Cox3:03 PM

    " Israel wins because with Lebanons instability there is no local threat to its tourism and it can continue to abuse Lebanese sovreignty. "_____Israel would be much better off if Lebanon were peaceful, stable and would sign a peace treaty. I am certain they would be glad to hand over those farms in a moment. Israel gains nothing from the present mess.

  15. don,
    I fail to see the logic in that. Israel will only sign a peace treaty if the treaty included Israeli access to Lebanese waters. A Lebanese govt. signing such a treaty would be commiting political suicide at best or at worst would plunge the country into all out civil war. Secondly a peaceful Lebanon will be, long term, a strong competitor in the Tourism market. Thirdly, until it signs a peace treaty with Syria, being able to fly over Lebanon at will and monitor Syria's border to the North is not something to give up lightly.
    What do they gain by a peaceful, stable Lebanon? Not having having to put up with a few Hizballah attacks a year (which will not be resuming anytime soon)? What else?

    Finally, if the Shebaa farms were so easy for them to give up, why not do so arbitrarily and remove one of Hizballahs top reasons to remain armed?

  16. mzm,

    for somebody who accuses the masses of a lack of objectivity, i reckon you yourself are a little light on in that department. Just in response to your points:
    - tourism in the middle east does not necessarily have to be a zero sum game. in an ideal and peaceful world i'm sure tourism packages can be catered to include tours of lebanon and israel and therefore increase the tourism pie altogether. I guess this sort of rational thinking requires a little objectivity
    - what does Israel gain from a peaceful and stable Lebanon? well a major factor in economic success is stability, including peace. investors would much prefer a stable environment free from possible rocket attacks to put their money. this way there is a better chance for a return on their investment. what do you think?
    - finally and with regards to your Shebba Farms point. My understanding is that this issue will soon be handed over to the UN to take care of the farms until the Syrian Government provide paperwork declaring status of the farms as Lebanese rather than Syrian.

  17. Tony,
    I am sure we are all capable of not being fully objective or to consider the full aspects of every subject some of the time. However, any lack of objectivity on my part does not preclude the fact that we as a nation lack it when it comes to politics.

    In response to your points. All points are debatable. For example, you claim I lack objectivity in not thinking about tourism packagaes that take in both Lebanon and Israel? I could easily reply that that you are just making my point. If tourist A were 2 spend 2 weeks in Israel this year and after a treaty were to spend 1 week in Israel and 1 week in Lebanon that equals to a 50% loss of income to the Israeli. Is that not competition?

    Investment in Israel was not even affected by this Summers war let alone the small scale clashes that occured in the north of the country in the preceding 6 years.

    And your point about the Shebaa farms is neither here not there. If they wanted to weaken Hizballahs position on keeping weapons they do not need to wait on the UN or anyone else.

    But like I say, these are opinions which are as you say, capable of lacking objectivity from your point of view.
    My post was not adverserial, or an attempt to insult anyone as you seem to hav etaken it. It is a plea for my fellow countrymen to be more wary; to not let their hate of any particular group to blind them to the actions of others.

  18. Les Chemins:

    It should be OK, people come and go all the time and the military troubles seem to be limited to the camps.

    As for the bombs, they have been targeting commercial interests lately, but they've been careful to avoid casualties. What kind of exhibition is it?

  19. mzm,

    i guess most people lack objectivity when it comes to politics.

    i don't want this to be a circular debate, but you are still viewing the tourism question as a zero sum game. do you agree that there is currently a tourist market that (a) is going to Israel and not Lebanon, (b) not going to Lebanon/Israel altogether? This is a market which Lebanon currently does not have, therefore, you would expect that one of the benefits of peace would be to tap into this market and therefore increase our tourism revenue altogether, no?

    as for Israel not affected by last summers war, I have no data to suggest one way or the other, although I presume just as it scared off some tourists to Lebanon then it would have had the same impact on Israel.

    with regards to your point on the Shebaa Farms, perhaps you're right. I don't know what Israel has to benefit by holding onto the farms but hopefully this will soon become a moot point.

  20. Don Cox5:56 PM

    "If tourist A were 2 spend 2 weeks in Israel this year and after a treaty were to spend 1 week in Israel and 1 week in Lebanon that equals to a 50% loss of income to the Israeli. Is that not competition?"_____You are forgetting Tourists B to Z, who are not coming to either because of the hostile situation. If one could drive directly from Beirut to Jerusalem, and ideally then on to Alexandria, there would be millions more visitors. People who currently will not go to any of them. ____ I do think Israel should abandon the farms immediately, and leave Syria and Lebanon to fight over them.

  21. tony,
    I see, you are talking from Lebanons perspective. Of course from that light your are right. I was of course talking about Israels perspective that peace would decrease Israels tourism revenue.

    In terms of the economic aspect, the Summer war caused a slight drop in the 3rd quarter GDP of Israel (1.4%) but overall its GDP still grew by 4.8% last year.

    I don't think, bar last summer, that tourists b-z abandoned plans to go to Israel because there was no peace with Lebanon. Because of the Palestinians maybe, but not Lebanon. And the Palestinian issue will still be there after a peace treaty with Lebanon.
    Therefore I honestly do not believe that the ability to drive from Beirut to Jerusalem will increase tourism to Israel enough to offset any loss of tourism to Lebanon. Only Lebanon would gain. I would also add that even if you were right, I still believe that what it would lose in signing a treaty would be greater than an increase in tourism would give them.
    But again, that is just an opinion.

  22. Anonymous10:00 PM

    Blacksmith Jade:

    Thanks for your prompt reaction!

    It is a building exhibition called Rebuild Lebanon and unfortunately today it has been cancelled because of the chain of attacks!! Most probably it will be held in November if there is a peace!!

    We will see...

    Best regards from Istanbul.


  23. I hope it will be OK by then Ozge. Best of luck with your work.

  24. mzm,

    this is the final point which i will make on the tourist equation. i'm not only saying that lebanon will gain. i am saying that all will gain from increased tourism if there is peace. There will be an increase in international visitors (non-Lebanese/non-Jewish) who will visit the region who thus far have not. Hence, both Lebanon and Israel will benefit.

    At the end of the day this is only one small benefit that will arise. There are many other economic as well as social benefits that will eventuate once/if peace occurs.


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