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Bus Bombings in Lebanese Christian Area Kill 3

13 February 2007

Two explosions, which occurred minutes apart, tore through two passenger buses on a mountainside road, north of Beirut. Edward Yeranian reports from Beirut.

Twisted metal and torn seat cushions litter the bloodstained pavement as rescue workers pull victims from the wreckage of two minibuses and a dozen cars.

Intermittent rain fell on the steaming wreckage as Lebanese Army troops cordoned off the area near the mountainside town of Bikfaya, north of Beirut.

One witness, who was driving nearby says he ran quickly to the site of the explosion, and saw many people, scattered about, some dead and some wounded. He tried to help two victims who were wounded, their legs torn off by the blasts."

Lebanon's LBC TV reports there were at least two separate explosions, which occurred minutes apart during morning rush hour. News reports say that as many as several dozen wounded were taken to hospitals.

Interior Minister Hassan Sabah says the explosions targeted ordinary citizens going to work.

The interior minister says the two explosions took place one after the other, as people were going to their jobs this morning. He says the blasts near the village of Ain Alaq on the Bikfaya Road ripped apart two minibuses and a number of other vehicles.

Sabah also says that investigators are sifting through the wreckage to determine who was responsible for the blasts.

The explosions occurred just one day before celebrations to mark the second anniversary of the explosion that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

The town of Bikfaya is the mountaintop seat of former Lebanese President Amin Gemayel.

Mr. Gemayel, whose brother former President Beshir Gemayel, and son, former Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel, were assassinated, leads Lebanon's strongly anti-Syrian Kataeb party.

Last week Mr. Gemayel met with President Bush in Washington. He urged the United Nations to go ahead with an international investigation of the assassination of Mr. Hariri and other victims of political killings, including his son.

Several top Lebanese politicians accuse Syria and its Lebanese allies of being behind Tuesday's explosion.

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