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LEBANON

Third bombing in a week in Lebanon injures three near Saudi embassy

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 June, 2014, 9:38pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 June, 2014, 10:19pm
 

A blast triggered by a suicide bomber wounded three security officers in a hotel close to the Saudi Arabian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon's interior minister said, the third blast in the country in less than a week.

Security services said Wednesday's bomber was a Saudi national and that a second suspected Saudi militant, who was wounded in the blast, was arrested at the scene. The embassy was not damaged.

"The suicide bomber wanted to blow himself up at another place and security measures were taken to prevent the suicide bomber from reaching his target," Interior Minister Nihad al-Mashnouq said.

It was not clear whether the bomber was linked to any particular group.

The bomber blew himself up after security officers raided the Duroy hotel, some 20 metres from the embassy in the seaside district of Raouche, security sources said.

Television footage showed scores of army officers packing a main street filled with emergency vehicles. Pictures posted online showed a plume of smoke billowing from the hotel.

"The explosion happened after the security forces raided the building - like two minutes after - and the fire erupted," said Ahmad, a resident at the scene.

Ethnically mixed Lebanon has suffered a wave of sectarian violence linked to the war in Syria which, like its neighbour Iraq, is fighting a Sunni insurgency.

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