Lebanon’s Security Forces Thwart Third Attack in a Week at Beirut Hotel, Suicide Bomber Blows Himself Up
Lebanon's security services thwarted a third attack in a week after a suicide bomber blew himself up in a room at a Beirut hotel to avoid arrest during a raid on Wednesday.
The General Security said members of its elite unit raided Duroy Hotel in the Raouche district of Beirut on Wednesday evening after they received information that two guests there were believed to be preparing for an attack.
The statement said: "When the unit's members reached the door of the room where the two suspects were staying, one of them detonated an explosives belt, killing himself instantly and wounding three members of the unit, who were transferred to the American University of Beirut Medical Center for treatment."
The second suspect was arrested and is currently in hospital and being interrogated, it added.
"It has been confirmed that the suicide bomber is 20-year-old Saudi national Abdul Rahman al-Humaiqi," the National News Agency [NNA] said.
NNA also mentioned that a booby-trapped suitcase was found in the surroundings of "Du Roy" Hotel in Raouche, Beirut.
The suicide bombing wounded seven civilians and 4 members of the General Security as a result of the blast.
The sources further added that the General Security members arrested a number of terrorists during the raid.
Lebanon's head of General Security Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim who visited the wounded at the American University of Beirut Medical Center said, "Lebanon and anyone who does their job to combat terrorism is being targeted." He added that, "Such attacks will not intimidate us."
"It is Lebanon that is being targeted, not the security forces," Ibrahim told reporters.
Lebanon's Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said the second bomber who failed to detonate his explosives was a Saudi national.
Machnouk said at the site of the explosion that, "Security measures taken are preventing suicide bombers from carrying out their operations. This is a great thing and the work of all security services should be appreciated for this."
He further added that, "The suicide bomber in Raouche was planning to blow himself up somewhere else but the General Security has staged a pre-emptive operation."
Commenting on the blast, former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri tweeted: "I express my full solidarity with security services: the Army, the General Security, Internal Security Forces and State Security personnel as they confront pockets of terror."
Moreover, the Saudi Embassy in Beirut said it was coordinating with Lebanese security forces to determine the identity of the suicide bomber and whether his identification card was forged.
Sources: News Agencies, Edited by website team