A bomb went off Sunday evening outside a branch of the BLOM Bank in Beirut’s Verdun area.
The Lebanese Red Cross reported 2 people injured; one of them lightly.
The bomb was inside in a suitcase placed outside the bank. Interior Minister Mashnouq said the bombing is unrelated to the previous waves of bombings in Lebanon. He noted that BLOM Bank was the target.
BLOM bank has been criticized by some pro-Hizbullah politicians for taking a hard-line position after Lebanese banks began abiding by a U.S. law that sanctions doing business with the Iran-backed Lebanese group. Authorities say dozens of bank accounts related to Hizbullah’s organizations have been closed in recent weeks.
Saad Azhari, the head of BLOM bank, said no one should jump to conclusion as to who was behind the attack.
“We are interested in being a serious bank that serves the interests of all (Lebanese). We don’t take measures to harm any one particular group,” he told reporters at the scene.
He also said that no threats had been received by the bank prior to the attack.
An AFP correspondent saw almost all the entire glass facade of a branch of the BLOM Bank, one of the country’s largest, blown out, with debris littering the ground.
The AFP correspondent also saw damaged cars near the scene of the blast before an army patrol arrived and kept reporters back.
The explosion occurred few minutes after the predominantly Muslim residents sat down for iftar, the meal that breaks the daylong fast for observing Muslims during Ramadan.
Source: Associated Press