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11 injured in Beirut hotel blast


Beirut, June 26:

A suicide bomber blew himself up in his hotel room in Beirut’s Raouche area Wednesday, leaving 11 people injured, including an associate and three Lebanese security personnel, the media reported.

The explosion took place when a security force searching for suspected terrorists raided the Du Roy Hotel and broke into the room of the suicide bomber, Xinhua quoted Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) as saying in a report.

Director of the Lebanese Red Cross Georges Kettaneh was quoted as saying that the injured had all been transferred to the American University Hospital in Beirut, and that “security forces arrested one of the injured who turned out to be an associate to the bomber who was killed immediately”.

An Al Qaeda-linked terror group known as Liwaa Ahrar As Sunna, or the Free Sunni Brigade, has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a message on Twitter that the “operation was carried out by a Jihadi who blew himself in a Crusaders raiding force” in reference to the security force that raided the hotel. The terror group assured that “other Jihadis are now safe after leaving the area of the blast”.

The group has previously claimed responsibility for several attacks carried out in Lebanon and vowed to continue “targeting Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria”.

Lebanese Minister of Interior Nouhad Mashnouk, who inspected the site, said that “three general security members were injured and a Saudi national was arrested.”

“What happened was a preemptive operation carried out by the general security as the suicide bomber was going to blow himself up in a different place and the security measures prevented him from reaching his target,” he added.

The Aljadeed TV reported that the Saudi suicide bomber had been identified as Abdel Rahman Al Homaiqi, and his arrested associate was another Saudi national from the Al Soueini family.

The Saudi embassy in Beirut has issued a statement saying that it is coordinating with the Lebanese authorities to find out whether “the IDs of the bombers are not forged”.

Lebanese officials have expressed fears of the repercussions of recent developments in Iraq and possible activation of sleeping cells present in Lebanon to target various security posts or areas of Hezbollah, the Shiite militant party.