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Gunman attempts to attack US embassy in Lebanon, army says

Beirut — A gunman was shot and captured by Lebanese soldiers after attempting to attack the U.S. Embassy on Wednesday, the army said. The embassy is outside of Beirut.

The attack came as tensions continued to simmer in the small Mediterranean country, where months of fighting between Hezbollah militants and Israeli troops have displaced thousands of people along the border after years of stalemate politics and economic difficulties.

The Lebanese army said in a statement that soldiers shot an attacker, whom they described only as a Syrian national. The shooter was taken to hospital.

Lebanese police monitor a checkpoint near the US embassy in Awkar
Lebanese police monitor a checkpoint near the U.S. Embassy in Awkar, Lebanon, June 5, 2024.

Mohamed Azakir / REUTERS

The shooters’ motivations were unclear. However, Lebanese media published photos that appear to show a bloodied attacker wearing a black vest with the words “Islamic State” written in Arabic and the English initials “I” and “S.” ISIS is also known as the Islamic State.

Local media reported that there was gunfire for almost half an hour near the US diplomatic mission in the suburb of Aukar, north of Beirut.

A Lebanese security official told The Associated Press there were four attackers, including one who led the gunmen to the site and three who opened fire.

One shooter was killed, another escaped and the third was injured and arrested by the Lebanese army. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

Lebanese army says gunman opened fire on US embassy in Beirut
Lebanese troops are taking security measures in the area after the army said a gunman tried to attack the US embassy outside Beirut.

Houssam Shbaro / Anadolu via Getty Images

The US embassy said small arms fire was reported near its entrance, but the shooting did not injure any of its staff and that Lebanese troops and embassy security quickly mobilized.

A statement from Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s office said he was informed, following meetings with the defense minister and army commander, that the situation was now stable and serious investigations were underway. in progress.

The Lebanese army said it had deployed troops around the embassy and surrounding areas.

In 1983, a deadly bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut killed 63 people. U.S. officials blame the attack on the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Following this attack, the embassy was moved from central Beirut to the Christian suburb of Aukar, north of the capital. Another bombing hit the new location on September 20, 1984.

In September 2023, Lebanese security forces arrested a Lebanese man who opened fire near the US embassy. There were no casualties during this attack.

In October 2023, hundreds of protesters clashed with Lebanese security forces during demonstrations near the US Embassy in support of the people of Gaza and the militant group Hamas in his war with Israel.


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