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Lebanon: Authorities thwart a bomb attack - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Lebanese Army soldiers with sniffer dogs take part in a military parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Lebanon's independence, in downtown Beirut November 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir)

Lebanese Army soldiers with sniffer dogs take part in a military parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Lebanon’s independence in downtown Beirut on November 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir)

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Lebanese military defused a car bomb in Eastern Beqaa on Friday, only days after a double suicide bombing near the Iranian embassy killed at least 25 people and injured over 150, a military source told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the source said that a military engineering unit found a car “loaded with a large amount of explosives,” and that the identity of the driver remains unknown.

According to the source, the intelligence directorate in the Lebanese Army was “informed of a shooting in the area,” and that a military force that headed to the site “found the car with no one inside.”

The source said that fighting had probably taken place near the car, which was found with bullet holes and blood stains.

The state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported that a 4×4 black Buick contained 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms) of TNT and C4 as well as two remote control mortar shells.

The military source said the car is not registered in Lebanon, but refused to answer questions about whether the vehicle was Syrian.

In another development from Lebanon, authorities Arsal, which is near the Syrian border, have issued a resolution banning Syrian-registered vehicles from operating in the town.

The mayor of Arsal, Ali Al-Hajiri, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the decision was made due to the “increased [traffic] congestion in the streets resulting from the flow of thousands of Syrian refugees from the Qalamoun villages into Arsal.”

On Friday, Lebanon celebrated its National Day amid fears that the violence spilling over from the Syrian conflict would worsen.

A military parade marking the 70th anniversary of Lebanon’s independence was organized at Shafiq Al-Wazzan Avenue in central Beirut.

Amid heavy security measures, the parade was attended by President Michel Suleiman, Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri and caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati.