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Lebanon: two suicide bombers blew themselves up in an ISIS attack

THE LEVANT NEWS — BEIRUT: Lebanese Military Prosecutor Saqr Saqr and State Prosecutor Samir Hammoud Friday confirmed that only two suicide bombers blew themselves up in an ISIS-claimed attack that killed at least 43 people and wounded more than 200 Thursday night in a Beirut southern suburb.

“A suicide attacker on a motorbike blew himself up using 7 kilograms of explosives, which caused mass destruction in the area and extensive damage. The second suicide bomber was wearing an explosive belt weighing 2 kilograms,” Hammoud told reporters from Burj al-Barajneh.

He said that security forces are inspecting surveillance cameras in the area, confirming “the attack was conducted by two suicide bombers.”

“Another explosive belt was found at the scene and it will be compared with the belt confiscated from a suspect detained on Thursday in the northern city of Tripoli,” he added.

Police Thursday arrested a suspect identified as Ibrahim J. in the Qibbeh neighborhood of Tripoli who was found wearing an explosive belt hours before the attack in Beirut.

Saqr’s remarks echoed those made by Hammoud.

“Security forces are cooperating in the investigation to unveil rumors about a third suicide bomber,” he said.

Saqr said that the “attentiveness of security forces saved Lebanon from another bombing in the north,” referring to the suspect who was detained by the Internal Security Forces in Qibbeh.

Earlier in the day he tasked authorities with handing over the bodies of the victims who were killed in the attack to their families.

According to the state-run National News Agency, Saqr instructed authorities to hand over the bodies which were viewed by forensics and coroners.

Forty-three people were killed Thursday and 239 others were wounded in a twin bombing claimed by ISIS, one of the bloodiest attacks in Lebanon in years.

The blasts ripped through a crowded street market in Burj al-Barajneh in Beirut’s southern suburbs.

The army said the attack was carried out by two suicide bombers, and that the body of a third who failed to detonate his explosive device was found at the scene of the second blast.

Defense Minister Samir Moqbel visited the blast site later in the day, saying “similar security breaches are always possible… Security forces cannot foresee similar operations.”

He called on politicians to “unite for the benefit of the nation and the people.”

Secretary-General of the Higher Relief Committee Maj. Gen. Mohammad Kheir also visited the neighborhood to survey the damage.

An emergency security meeting Friday morning tasked the HRC with surveying material losses in order to compensate those affected by the attack.

Kheir vowed to find a “shelter to those who had their homes damaged” by the blast, urging citizens “not to repeat yesterday’s (Thursday) gatherings after [bombings], to facilitate the work of security foces and Civil Defense.”

SOURCE: THE DAILY STAR

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