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NEWS: Large Explosion Rocks Beirut Seafront

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posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 05:34 AM
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A a huge explosion in downtown Beirut in a commercial area with several popular hotels has killed at least nine persons and wounded 12. .The explosion shook buildings in the city center and was heard in outlying hills overlooking the Lebanese capital.

 



www.cnn.com
CNN's Brent Sadler, on the scene, described two large fires and twisted, charred wreckage of vehicles.

"I haven't seen anything on this scale in Beirut since the dark days of the civil war," Sadler said.

TV footage from the scene showed huge flames leaping from several cars, including one in which a person was sitting in the passenger seat covered in flames.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


update:




Witnesses and a politician said the blast apparently targeted former Prime Minster Rafik Hariri’s motorcade.

'PA' news

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Hariri, a self-made billionaire, (led Lebanon for most of the period since the 1975-1990 civil war ended) has recently joined calls by the opposition for Syria to quit Lebanon in the run-up to general elections in May.

Those killed included at least one of his bodyguards. The private Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. said Hariri was taken to a hospital.

second update:

Al-Mustaqbal TV station, owned by ex-Lebanese PM Hariri, confirms Hararis death in Beirut blast

Explosions in Beirut, once common during the 1975-90 civil war, have become rare since the conflict ended.

[edit on 14-2-2005 by Riwka]

[edit on 14-2-2005 by ZeddicusZulZorander]




posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 08:10 AM
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I was just looking to see if anyone had reported on this yet -- I can't imagine the size of a bomb that would set 20 cars on fire -- talking massive doesn't even seem large enough.

jm



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 08:10 AM
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from DEBKAFile:

Hariri’s death is grave setback to Bush administration Middle East policy goals. After Iraq and Palestinian elections, Hariri was key leader designated to carry out reforms of Lebanese system of government after spring elections.

Five-term PM Hariri stepped down last year in protest against extension of presidential term of pro-Syrian Emil Lahoud and led opposition to Syrian occupation of Lebanon.


debka.com...

Here's hoping that these underhanded Syrian tactics of reminding the Lebanese who's "boss" will backfire.

[edit on 14-2-2005 by HeirToBokassa]



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 10:06 AM
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Maybe sources close to Syria could be responsible for the blast. Syria has at least 14,000 soldiers stationed in Lebanon. There are several organizations and countries striving to undermine the stability in the region and prevent democratization in the Arab world.



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 11:24 AM
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A self-made billionaire during the civil war....sounds like he was heavy into weapons and drugs before he got to be the new "democrate" reformer, but then again, name me one lebanese politician who isn't somehow involved into its clandestine wareconomy.....


[edit on 14-2-2005 by Countermeasures]



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 11:44 AM
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While he has been accused of corruption and bad rule, Hariri apparently made his millions in Saudi Arabia in the construction industry, not in Lebanon through gun-running and drug-dealing.



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 03:38 PM
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The Lebanese army announced a general alert for all units of the Lebanese army in the wake of the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri.

They began deploying patrols and setting up checkpoints.



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 04:52 PM
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Lebanese security forces stormed the Beirut home of the man who appeared in a video aired by Al-Jazeera, claiming responsibility for the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri ( but Ahmed Tayseer Abu Adas was not in the house)

The tape broadcast by Al Jazeera showed Abu Adas sitting in front of a black flag carrying the name "Group for Advocacy and Holy War in the Levant".

(The Levant is the historical name of the region including today's:
Syria - Lebanon - Israel - Palestinian territories - Jordan. )


A Lebanese security forces statement said




"Computer equipment and tapes were seized from his house and some documents were confiscated for investigation,"

Early investigations had shown he was a member of an Islamic school of thought known as Wahhabism -- an austere form of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia.

Reuters


Opposition figures called for Syrian forces to pull out of Lebanon before parliamentary elections in May, as well as a three-day strike.


Rebekka



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 07:21 PM
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Originally posted by Riwka
The Lebanese army announced a general alert for all units of the Lebanese army in the wake of the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri.

They began deploying patrols and setting up checkpoints




From: BBC: Army 'on alert' after Beirut bomb

An army statement said it had "ordered a general mobilisation of all army units, raised to the maximum its state of alert" to "safeguard stability".


Army patrols have been sent out in Beirut and checkpoints set up



posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 10:18 PM
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being lebanese, I know how much of a shock to the people Hariri's death will be. While he has done some bad, he has also done a lot of good. For the past 25 years, he has given away millions of dollars to the poor of lebanon. He distributed olive oil to the poor personally until he made his millions, then he started a charity that still to this day distributes food to the poor.

I am inclined to believe that this was the work of a upstart terrorist group, since anyone competent would know not to use that much explosive. If the aim was to kill Hariri, nowhere near as much is needed. A common sign of an amateur is using too much explosive. Hariri was killed instantly, he didn't die at hospital.



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