8 people killed in Ashrafiyeh district in Beirut by a car bomb.

The car bomb exploded in Ashrafiyeh district in central Beirut, the same area, nearly the same spot were Bashir Gemayel was assassinated in 1982.

 

Lebanon, Beirut (SaebPress) — At least eight people have been killed and more than 97 wounded by the blast Friday hit the Ashrafiyeh district, 200 yards from the central office of the Lebanese Christian Phalange movement; it was reportedly caused by a car bomb.

The huge car bomb that exploded in Ashrafiyeh district in central Beirut, according to Lebanese fire department and witnesses killed At least eight people and wounded more than 97. Several cars were set on fire by the blast; security forces were deployed in large numbers and sealed the Ashrafiyeh area.

Internal Security Forces brigadier general Wissam al-Hassan was killed in a massive blast Friday, according to multiple media sources.

Al-Hassan is the head of the ISF’s controversial information branch, and had arrived in Beirut from outside Lebanon Thursday night.

He is considered to be a divisive figure in the Lebanese political arena. Backed by the opposition March 14 coalition, he has led a number of raids against people affiliated with March 8, most notably Michel Samaha who was accused of planning terrorist attacks at the behest of the Syrian government.

Earlier this week, Lebanese Al-Diyar said its editor-in-chief Charles Ayoub received death threats after publishing a series of articles criticizing al-Hassan.

The ISF’s information branch was created in the aftermath of former prime minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination in 2005. It was considered a counterweight to Lebanese military intelligence which was seen to have close relations with Damascus. The newly formed security apparatus was largely trained and supplied by US and pro-US Arab intelligence services. This the first time a Lebanese political figure has been assassinated since a string of bombings between 2004 and 2008 killed a number of high-profile military and political figures in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the government of Syria has issued a statement condemning the terrorist attack as a ‘cowardly’ move. Hezbollah condemns the  attack as well. It is the first major bomb attack in Beirut since 2008. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

It was not immediately clear if the explosion targeted any political figure in Lebanon’s divided community but it occurred at a time of heightened tension between Lebanese factions on opposite sides of the Syria conflict. the blast Friday hit the Ashrafiyeh  was 200 yards away from the central office of the Lebanese Christian Phalange movement;  Bashir Gemayel was assassinated at the same spot of today’s car bomb blast.

Christian Phalange movement acted under direct orders from the then ‘Israeli –Defence’ Minister Ariel Sharon,  Lebanese Forces militia (LF) the military arm of  Phalange movement was accused  and implicated in committing September 16th 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre, Hundreds of Palestinans  were murdered by Phalange Christians forces between September 16 and 18, 1982, while ‘Israel’ occupation’s soldiers were positioned around the camps. They slaughtered over 3,500 women, children and old men of the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee Camps.

Brigadier general Wissam al-Hassan, killed Friday by a large explosion in Beirut’s Achrafieh district, was a top security official and a mysterious, controversial player in the Lebanese political-security arena since 2005. he headed the Internal Security Forces’ (ISF) controversial Information Branch, considered a divisive security apparatus because of the strong backing it enjoys from the opposition March 14 coalition, and a number of raids it conducted against people affiliated with the ruling March 8 coalition. He was in charge of the ongoing investigation against former Lebanese Information Minister Michel Samaha. Samaha was arrested in August over allegations that he was plotting to plant explosives in the northern city of Akkar at the behest of the Syrian government.

The ISF’s information branch was created in the aftermath of former prime minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination in 2005. It was considered a counterweight to Lebanese military intelligence which is seen to have close relations with Damascus. The newly-formed security apparatus was largely trained and supplied by US and pro-US Arab intelligence services, including Saudi Arabia.

Syrian crisis had spilled over into Lebanon

In a visit to the Lebanese capital Beirut on Wednesday  17th Oct , Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab peace envoy  to Syria warned the Lebanese leadership “you cannot expect the Syrian crisis to remain within Syrian borders; the Syria’s conflict could set the entire region ablaze.” he said.

Sources confirmed to SaebPress the on-going clashes at Syrian Lebanese border have been raging between Syrian army and the’ free Syrian army’ and its Lebanese supporters, the source confirms that the Lebanese supporters lost 17 Lebanese in an ambush on the Lebanese border Friday. The Syrian army actively engaged in patrolling the borders between the two countries in an effort to stop the influx of smuggled arms and terrorists from Lebanon.

SaebPress

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