US embassy cable - 85BEIRUT240

BOMBS IN WEST BEIRUT

Identifier: 85BEIRUT240
Wikileaks: View 85BEIRUT240 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Beirut
Created: 1985-01-14 14:05:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PTER LE
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 141405Z JAN 85
FM AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1346
INFO AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
C O N F I D E N T I A L BEIRUT 00240 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR 
TAGS:  PTER, LE 
SUBJECT:  BOMBS IN WEST BEIRUT 
 
1.  (C)  SINCE THE SMUGGLER'S INN BLAST OF JANUARY 
9, THERE HAVE BEEN FOUR MORE BOMBINGS IN WEST 
BEIRUT, KILLING SEVEN MORE PEOPLE AND INJURING 
AS MANY AS 80 MORE.  IN ADDITION, A LARGE EXPLOSIVE 
CHARGE PLACED IN FRONT OF THE BUILDING HOUSING THE 
EMBASSY'S CHIEF POLITICAL SECTION LOCAL EMPLOYEE 
FAILED TO DETONATE WHEN ITS FUSE EXPLODED SUNDAY NIGHT. 
DETAILS FOLLOW. 
 
2.  (U)  THREE PEOPLE WERE KILLED AND 27 INJURED 
FRIDAY WHEN A BOMB EXPLODED OUTSIDE THE BANK OF 
BEIRUT AND ARAB COUNTRIES ON CORNICHE MAZRA' IN WEST 
BEIRUT.  EXPLOSION DEVASTATED THE INSIDE OF BANK, 
DUG A LARGE CRATER IN SIDEWALK, AND CAUSED EXTENSIVE 
DAMAGE TO VEHICLES AND OTHER BUILDINGS. 
 
3.  (U)  THREE BOMBS EXPLODED SATURDAY, KILLING 
THREE PEOPLE AND INJURING AS MANY AS 60.  TWO OF 
THE BOMBS, BOTH PACKED WITH NAILS, WENT OFF WITHIN 
FIVE MINUTES OF EACH OTHER IN THE PSP-CONTROLLED 
MUSSEITBEH AREA WHILE THE THIRD INJURED SIX PERSONS 
AND DAMAGED PROPERTY ON HAMRA STREET NEAR A PSP 
CHECKPOINT. 
 
4.  (C)  EMBASSY POLITICAL SECTION EMPLOYEE GABY 
AKKAR, A CHRISTIAN, SAID THAT UNLIKE BOMB WHICH 
DESTROYED HIS CAR LAST MONTH, HE IS CERTAIN THAT 
LAST NIGHTS ABORTED EXPLOSION WAS IMED AT HIM. 
HE SAID THAT CHARGE WAS PLACED DIRECTLY UNDER THE 
BALCONY OF HIS APARTMENT.  AKKAR SAID THAT HE IS 
NOW MAKING PLANS TO MOVE HIS FAMILY INTO THE EAST 
WHERE IT IS SAFE. 
 
5.  (C)  COMMENT:  LEBANESE PUBLIC FIGURES HAVE 
INEVITABLY ACCUSED ISRAEL OF BEING BEHIND BLASTS, 
WHILE THE SYRIAN BA'ATH PARTY HAS SINGLED OUT 
PRO-ARAFAT PALESTINIANS.  JOURNALISTS RESIDENT IN 
THE WEST VARIOUSLY ATTRIBUTE THE BLASTS TO THE MUR- 
ABITUN, WHICH THEY SAY IS RETURNING TO THE AREA IN 
FORCE AND REINVIGORATING THE OLD MURABITUN-PSP FEUD, 
OR HIZBALLAH,SIGNS OF WHOSE PRESENCE THEY SAY ARE 
INCREASINGLY DAILY.  IN THIS REGARD, U.S. JOURNALISTS 
DESCRIBED THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN WEST BEIRUT AS 
HAVING SUNK TO TRULY HOBBESIAN LEVELS OF NASTINESS 
IN LAST MONTH, WITH THE COMBINATION OF CAR BOMBS 
AND ARMED ROBBERIES KEEPING MQST PEOPLE LOCKED 
INDOORS AT NIGHT.  THERE ARE PRESENTLY REPRESENTA- 
TIVES OF ONLY THREE AMERICAN NEWS MEDIA RESIDENT 
IN BEIRUT (ASSOCIATED PRESS, LOS ANGELES TIMES, 
AND NEW YORK TIMES); SOME OF THESE ARE THINKING ABOUT 
LEAVING. 
 
 
BARTHOLOMEW 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04