Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lebanon on edge with threat of more car bombs

By Justin Salhani
BEIRUT/ABRA, Lebanon – A week of deadly car bombs has pushed security agencies in Lebanon to increase security measures as the country continues to suffer the effects of the war in neighboring Syria.

Various buildings around the country, including political offices and mosques, have blocked off parking in response to the bombs thought to be repercussions to areas deeply involved with the war in Syria.

Lebanon is a Mediterranean country slightly smaller than Connecticut with some of the most tumultuous borders in the Middle East. To the south lies Israel, a country with which Lebanon has a history of conflict and no diplomatic relations, and to the north and east is Syria, embroiled in a nearly two and a half-year civil war that has Lebanese deeply divided between support and opposition of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

On August 16, a car bomb exploded killing more than 20 people in Beirut’s southern suburb, where Assad enjoys swathes of support. Eight days later, two more blasts followed in the northern city of Tripoli, an area that holds great ire for Assad’s regime, killing dozens and injured hundreds. The blast in Beirut’s suburbs was in an area with heavy traffic while Tripoli’s twin explosions targeted crowded mosques.

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