I get worried whenever someone calls and immediately asks, “Are you ok?” Today was one of those days. Not too far from my house, there was an explosion. Another car bomb, this time in the Dora/Quarantina suburbs just north of Beirut.
What makes this bomb different from the others is that it was presumably aimed at an American embassy vehicle. It seems that today was Ambassador Feltman’s last day, and someone was either trying to whack him or to send him a little going away message. In either case, this is an escalation that we really don’t need. So for the first time, non-UNIFIL foreigners have been targeted. If my hunch is right, the US Government won’t be likely to take this sort of an attack lying down. It wouldn’t surprise me if in a few months or so, we see a car bomb or two targeting whomever Washington thinks tried this. Probably Syrians, Iranians or someone from the March 8 opposition.
For my part, I don’t want to speculate on who’s behind this latest attack, although I will say that I wouldn’t rule out any of the al-Qaeda franchises operating in Lebanon.
Whoever is responsible, it’s a sad day for those people who were ruthlessly killed today while going about there everyday business.
UPDATE: This NYT report puts the blast in Bourj Hammoud, which is closer than I thought. Bourj Hammoud is mostly Armenian, the first suburb past my neighborhood, Mar Mkhail. I often go there for cheap shopping: real Converse Allstars that presumably fell off the back of a Chinese boat, for example, can be found for less than 10 euros a pair. Perhaps I’ll go see for myself today where, exactly, the bomb was.