Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, the head of Lebanon’s intelligence division of the domestic security forces, and seven others were killed on Thursday in a car bombing in Beirut. There is speculation that the culprits, who also left dozens more wounded in the country’s deadliest attack in years, are tied to the Syrian civil war.
The late al-Hassan recently led an investigation into a pro-Syrian Lebanese politician and a close aide to Syrian President Bashar Assad, as well as bombing plots in Lebanon, reports the Washington Post.
Friday’s blast was also a reminder of Lebanon’s grim history, when the 1975-1990 civil war made the country notorious for kidnappings, car bombs and political assassinations. Even since the war’s end, Lebanon has been a proxy battleground for regional conflict, and the Mediterranean seaside capital has been prey to sudden, surprising and often unexplained violence shattering periods of calm.
“Whenever there is a problem in Syria they want to bring it to us,” said Karin Sabaha Gemayel, a secratary at a law firm a block from the bombing site, where the street was transformed into a swath of rubble, twisted metal and charred vehicles.
“But you always hope it will not happen to us. Not again,” she said.
Read more at the Washington Post.