The Third Explosion to terrorize the Lebanese People
(March 27, 2005/Naharnet)
An explosion ripped through an industrial district on Beirut's northeastern edge Saturday, setting six tall buildings afire and leaving at least 5 people injured.
It was the third bombing in 1 week that was blamed by the opposition on Syria's intelligence service in a bit to show that law and order cannot be maintained in Lebanon if Syria evacuates the country.
"The Syrians are telling us that we have one of two options, either law and order under tutelage or freedom with security chaos," said opposition leader Carlos Edde, head of the right wing National Bloc Party, from the blazing scene of the blast.
Police were confused about the cause of the blast. One officer at the scene said it was a car bomb, but another officer said it was a bomb concealed in a leather suitcase placed under a car with a timing device.
Edde and Druze leader Walid Jumblat asserted the new explosion was engineered by the same Syrian intelligence service that carried out the previous bombings of a commercial street in New Jdeideh and a shopping mall in Kaslik. Three persons were killed and 14 wounded in these blasts inside Lebanon's Christian heartland.
Nothing that Saturday's blast in the industrial sector that sits near the residential neighborhood of Dekwaneh had hit a predominantly Christian area, Edde said it was obvious that the perpetrators intended to provoke sectarian friction in the wake of the Feb. 14 assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri, who was a Muslim.
"But we shall not fall in the trap. We shall win the spring elections. We shall overthrow the Syrian controlled regime of President Lahoud and install our national salvation government," Edde said.
Jumblat also said opposition efforts should focus on holding the elections on schedule so as to change the Lahoud regime and set up a free democratic government.
As they spoke a dozen fire engines battled to put down the raging fires as rescuers stood poised to enter the burning structures to try to evacuate any casualties there.