The deadly carbomb that tore into the centre of Christian East Beirut on Friday may not, as first thought, be an attack on the whole community, and may have been a targeted assassination.
Eight people died and nearly eighty were injured, but among the dead was a top Lebanese security official, Wissam al-Hassan, whose recent foiling of a bomb plot led to the arrest of a pro-Syrian Lebanese politician. He also led the investigation into the murder of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, and implicated Syria and Hezbollah in the killing.
“All the houses were falling down. God protected me and kept me alive. There’s nothing now, no ceiling, walls or doors. Everything’s destroyed,” said one elderly lady.
Al-Hassan was a Sunni muslim, and in reaction to the attack crowds of Sunnis came out onto the streets in the early evening to protest and burn tyres.
Damascus was quick to condemn the bombing, but there will be many people in Lebanon who will see the hand of Bashar al-Assad behind this latest attack.