In Lebanon, a grenade explosion in a crowded square of the capital, Beirut, killed one person and wounded 17 others on Wednesday (1 February).
In Lebanon, a grenade explosion in a crowded square of the capital, Beirut, killed one person and wounded 17 others on Wednesday (1 February). It was the latest in a series of incidents which have taken place since the end of the Lebanese civil war 14 months ago.
SYNOPSIS: The scene of the blast was the central Martyrs Square, heavily damaged during the civil war. The area was quickly sealed off after the explosion by members of the mainly Syrian Arab League peacekeeping force which is upholding the truce in Beirut. Onlookers watched with only casual interest as the troops moved in. The sound of explosions has become commonplace in Beirut during the past few months, and only the previous night there had been two explosions causing slight damage in the same square.
According to eyewitnesses, the casualties were caused by a hand grenade which had been tossed into a clothes shop, and then kicked outside into the street by an alert employee. There was no immediate information on the motive for the attack, but the incident happened against a background of continuing tension between Lebanon's Rightists and the country's Palestinian-Leftist alliance.
Observers quoted by Reuters News Agency said the explosion underlined the failure of attempts to re-establish full security in Lebanon.