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Lebanese security forces arrest car bomb suspects - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Municipal workers clean up following a car bomb attack the previous day that killed at least 22 people in a Beirut stronghold of Shiite group Hezbollah, which backs Syria's embattled president on August 16, 2013. AFP PHOTO / STR

Municipal workers clean up following a car bomb attack that killed at least 22 people in a Beirut stronghold of Shi’ite group Hezbollah, on August 16, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/STR)

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat—Lebanese security forces arrested four people on Saturday on suspicion of involvement in a car-bomb-making network. The arrests came only days after the explosion on Thursday in Dahieh, Hezbollah’s southern Beirut stronghold.

The four male suspects, said to be two Lebanese and two Palestinians, were arrested following the discovery of a car bomb in the Naameh district of Beirut on Saturday.

Lebanese president Michel Suleiman praised the efforts of the security forces in discovering the “car prepared to explode, kill and destroy,” and praised their efforts in uncovering information leading to men who “fired missiles and planted explosives.”

In a statement, Suleiman called for investigations into the Dahieh bombing to be intensified and urged the authorities to “pursue the perpetrators of the crimes uncovered, arrest them, and refer them to the relevant judicial authorities.”

Suleiman expressed his hope “for the Lebanese people to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and in solidarity at the leadership and public levels, in order to achieve security and stability in the country at a time when the region is witnessing unrest and is paying the price in violence, blood and destruction.”

The car at issue in Saturday’s arrests, which was under police surveillance, came under suspicion when it was seen parked in a garage Naameh. Security forces surrounded the building after informing the public of its presence. Examination by explosive experts on Saturday evening revealed that it was loaded with five boxes of TNT, in addition to nitrate, fuses and detonators. The explosives found in the car weighed approximately 550 pounds (250 kilograms) and were not set to explode.

Meanwhile, the investigations into Thursday’s bombing continue. On Sunday, people in the area began to clear up the debris from the explosion site. Fifteen bodies remain unidentified, and authorities are awaiting the results of DNA tests.

A Palestinian delegation visited the Dahieh bombing site on Sunday “in solidarity with the Lebanese people and in condemnation of the heinous crime,” said Palestine Liberation Organization representative Fathi Abu Al-Aradat. “The stance of the [Palestinian] factions is clear: we declare our impartiality and we reject the use of Lebanese territory to settle scores.”

The Palestinian factions’ stance follows a series of raids by the Lebanese army on the Burj Al-Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Beirut. The army is said to have been searching for suspects in a number of incidents, including the Dahieh bombing.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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