BEIRUT: An overnight suicide blast in Beirut’s southern suburbs, Hezbollah’s main bastion, killed a security officer who had tried to stop the bomber, a security source said yesterday.
No one has claimed the attack, but an audio recording posted on YouTube by a Sunni militant group said there would be more “strikes” if the Shia movement does not pull out of Syria.
The explosion happened at around midnight near an army checkpoint and cafe where football fans were watching a World Cup match.
An army statement said a suicide attacker driving a white Mercedes “blew himself up at an army checkpoint at the Tayuneh roundabout (in southern Beirut), wounding several civilians.”
The official National News Agency reported 12 people wounded.
A security source said a General Security Agency officer whom the army had reported missing had “been martyred.”
Remains were undergoing DNA testing to confirm that they were indeed those of Abdel Karim Hodroj, the source added.
The security source said Hodroj and his colleague Ali Jaber, who was wounded, “were passing through the area... They felt a vehicle that was going against the traffic flow was suspicious.
“The vehicle stopped in the middle of the road, and a man got out. (Hodroj and his colleague) stopped him and questioned him. The man said his car key was broken, and he couldn’t drive any more,” the source said.
The driver’s suspicious behaviour led Jaber to go to the nearby army checkpoint to report him.
“Hodroj remained with the suicide attacker to ensure he wouldn’t get away,” the security source said.
Jaber was 30 metres away when the explosion happened.
The bombing came three days after a suicide attack in eastern Lebanon killed one person and wounded 30.