Lebanon: top security official killed in car bomb

A top Lebanese security official who was bitterly opposed to Syrian leader Bashar Assad was killed Oct. 19 in a car bomb in Beirut that also claimed the lives of seven others and left 80 more wounded. Gen. Wissam Hasan, head of the Information Branch of the Internal Security Forces, was one of eight killed in the mid-afternoon attack in the Christian district of Ashrafieh. The blast was the first car bombing in Beirut since 2008. Hasan led the investigation that implicated Syria and Hezbollah in the 2005 killing of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, and he had also been a close aide to Hariri. Al-Jazeera reported that he was believed to be involved in organizing support for the Syrian insurgents. The opposition March 14 coalition accused Damascus of being behind the attack. “Assad has repeatedly threatened to set fire to the region if the noose tightened on him,” March 14 leader Fares Souaid told a television station. (Reuters, Lebanon Daily Star, Daily Star, Al-Jazeera, Oct. 19)


  1. Street clashes in Beirut
    Gen. Hasan’s funeral Oct. 21 exploded into street clashes. Soldiers launched tear gas canisters and fired automatic weapons into the air to disperse the enraged crowd of several hundred—mostly young men, some wielding sticks and tossing stones as they charged the prime minister’s headquarters, known as the Grand Serail. (LAT, Oct. 22)