Author Topic: huge car bomb kills billionaire and former prime minister in Beirut  (Read 109 times)

ARYC

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"Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri has been killed in an apparent large-scale bomb attack on his motorcade in Beirut. One of Hariri's senior bodyguards and officials at the American University in Beirut hospital confirmed Hariri's death to CNN. Witnesses reported seeing at least 10 bodies on the scene of Monday's explosion, which caused widespread destruction. Lebanon's official news agency said nine people were killed in addition to Hariri and 100 wounded, The Associated Press reported. At least six fires were burning in the immediate aftermath of the blast, which took place at shortly after 1p.m. The powerful blast took place in front of the five-star hotels St. George and Phoenicia-Intercontinental in the Lebanese capital's famed Cornische overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The city's fashionable seafront was strewn with rubble and burning vehicles, and the streets were littered with glass and twisted metal. "I haven't seen anything on this scale in Beirut since the dark days of the civil war," said CNN's Brent Sadler from the scene. Bystanders and emergency officials rushed to aid the injured, including one man who climbed from a car window on fire. A bystander used his jacket to put out the man's flames, AP said. "It's a scene of great carnage," Robert Fisk, correspondent for London's Independent newspaper, told CNN. "I saw several bodies on fire inside cars. I climbed inside the crater that was at least 15 feet deep, so this was a huge bomb. At least 22 cars were on fire -- one of them was blown three floors up into the annex of an unopened hotel. "Another seems to have been blown over the wall of the St. George Hotel, which was still under repairs from the civil war that ended in 1990. "Across the street, water was gushing from broken lines, and when the fire brigade arrived they had to drag their hoses past the corpses to put out the huge fires. "When we got there the fuel tanks of the cars were still exploding and spraying fire across the road so it was difficult to see how many had died and who they were." A plume of black smoke rose over the downtown. The explosion occurred near the city's waterfront and shook buildings in the city center. Windows were smashed out of buildings in the city's financial center about a mile away, Sadler said. The explosion was heard as far away as the eastern hills overlooking the city, AP said. The blast blew off the facade of at least one large building, covering cars, sidewalks and the street with rubble. Heavily armed security forces cordoned off the area with yellow tape as rescue workers and investigators combed the scene apparently looking for casualties or clues to what caused the huge explosion, AP said."


the car bomb's crater was huge , like 7 meters wide and 3 meters deep . I was in class when it went off and the windows shook (and i live 20 km away) not to mention the fact that it tore apart the heavily armored cars and threw a car into the 3rd floor of a hotel. I don't think it's an event "that could send Lebanon spiraling back into the bloody civil war" but it does change a lot of things , mainly because the assassination came like 48 hours after the UN told Syria they would be responsible if Hariri or Jumblatt (one of the main members of his party was aalmost killed in a similar car bomb a couple of months ago) were to be killed because they joined the mostly christian anti-syrian partys.



heres' a link to some of the pictures of the bomb (u can see Hariri in his car after the explosion although burned):

http://www.lebaneseforces.com/temp/explosion05/


 

Matrix Heart

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Re: huge car bomb kills billionaire and former prime minister in Beirut
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2005, 01:01:49 PM »
Who did he piss off?

Update
In a video that aired on Arab-language television network Al-Jazeera, a turbaned, bearded man read a statement claiming responsibility for a group called Victory and Jihad, saying the bombing was a "just punishment" for Hariri's close ties to the Saudi government.

 :o damn

« Last Edit: February 14, 2005, 05:08:16 PM by Max Powers »
 

Don Rizzle

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Re: huge car bomb kills billionaire and former prime minister in Beirut
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2005, 01:37:12 PM »
there is speculation seria is behind the bombing although i have my doubts

iraq would just get annexed by iran


That would be a great solution.  If Iran and the majority of Iraqi's are pleased with it, then why shouldn't they do it?
 

*Jamal*

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Re: huge car bomb kills billionaire and former prime minister in Beirut
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2005, 06:26:54 PM »
there is speculation seria is behind the bombing although i have my doubts

Who is Seria?
 

Don Rizzle

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Re: huge car bomb kills billionaire and former prime minister in Beirut
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2005, 07:20:02 PM »
syria fool

iraq would just get annexed by iran


That would be a great solution.  If Iran and the majority of Iraqi's are pleased with it, then why shouldn't they do it?
 

King Tech Quadafi

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Re: huge car bomb kills billionaire and former prime minister in Beirut
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2005, 07:20:33 PM »
Every notable character in the whole Lebanese soap opera has a contract on their head.
"One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked. "Where do you want to go?" was his response. "I don't know," Alice answered. "Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

- Lewis Carroll
 

Woodrow

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ARYC

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Re: huge car bomb kills billionaire and former prime minister in Beirut
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2005, 10:40:09 PM »
"In a video that aired on Arab-language television network Al-Jazeera, a turbaned, bearded man read a statement claiming responsibility for a group called Victory and Jihad, saying the bombing was a "just punishment" for Hariri's close ties to the Saudi government."

I seriously doubt it was some unknown and unheard of group that carried out such a huge bombing , it may have been a suicide bombing with hizzballah involved too but a state is deffinately behing this , it's just too elaborate.

the biggest thing to come out of this (not counting the 3 days off I got and the biologys test that was cancelled) is that for the 1st time the sunnis publically called for Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon , usually it's just us christians while we get beaten and kidnapped by the officers and are never heard of again till we turn up dead in the trunk of a car. But now the majority of the sunnis , the christians and the druze are in the opposition .



 

ARYC

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Re: huge car bomb kills billionaire and former prime minister in Beirut
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2005, 01:00:17 AM »
Rafik Hariri Assassinated in Beirut
The Killing of Mr. Lebanon
By ROBERT FISK
The Independent

Beirut.

I saw the blast wave coming down the Corniche. My home is only a few hundred metres from the detonation and my first instinct was to look up, to search for the high-altitude Israeli planes that regularly break the sound barrier over Beirut. There were customers coming bloodied from their broken-windowed restaurants and the great cancerous stain of smoke rising from the road outside the St George Hotel.

Beirut is my home-from-home, home from the dangers of Baghdad, and now here was Baghdad in Lebanon, a St Valentine's Day massacre in the streets of one of the Middle East's safest cities. I ran down the Corniche, everyone else fleeing in the opposite direction, and walked into a mass of rubble and flaming cars. There was a man, a big, plump man lying on the pavement opposite the still-derelict, war-damaged hotel, a sack, it seemed, except for the skull, the top missing. And there was a woman's hand in the road, still in a glove. There were bodies burning in a car, flaming away, a terrible hand hanging outside a motorist's window.

There were still no policemen, no ambulances, no fire brigade. The petrol tanks of the cars were starting to explode, spraying fire across the street. No one could take in the extent of the damage because of the heat and the smoke. Then I recognised one of Rafik Hariri's bodyguards, standing in terror. "The big man has gone," he said. The Big Man? Hariri? At first I thought that Lebanon's former prime minister, "Mr Lebanon", the man who more than anyone else rebuilt this city from the ashes of civil war, must have left, "gone" away, escaped.

But how could he have escaped this funeral pyre? A group of cops ran into the devastation, and a man, another bodyguard, ran shrieking towards a set of burning Mercedes limousines crying "Ya-allah", calling upon God to be his witness. Hariri travelled only in a convoy of heavily armoured Mercedes. No wonder the explosion was so massive. It would have to be to rip open the armoured doors. I followed a plain-clothes detective past a still-burning car - there was another body inside, cowled in flames - to the edge of a pit. It was at least 15ft deep. This was the crater. I slowly clambered down the edge. All that was left of the car bomb were a few pieces of metal an inch long. The blast had sent another car, perhaps one of Hariri's, soaring through the air into the third floor of the empty hotel's annexe, where it was still burning fiercely.

Hariri, I kept repeating. I had sat with him many times, for interviews, at press conferences, at lunches and dinners. He once spoke most movingly about the son he lost in a driving accident in America. He had said he believed in the afterlife. He had many enemies. Political enemies in Lebanon, Syrians who suspected - correctly - that he wanted them out of Lebanon, real estate enemies - for he had personally purchased large areas of Beirut - and media enemies because he owned a newspaper and a television station.

But he could be a good and kind man, even if he was a ruthless businessman; I once compared him to the cat which eats the canary then cheerfully admits that it tasted good. He sent the quotation off to his friends. His hand was one of the mightiest I had ever shaken.

I could not see his body. But amid the smoke and fire, I looked beyond to the new Beirut centre ville, the reconstructed centre of this fine city which Hariri's company - he owned 10 per cent of the shares in Solidere - was building from its Dresden-like ruins. He died within metres of his own creation.

This was a bomb that took a long time to construct, a long time to plan. Parked outside the wall of an empty hotel, few would have looked at the car or noticed it was weighed down on its axles by the weight of explosives, as it must have been.

The perpetrators were ruthless men, heedless of the innocent. They wanted to kill Rafik Hariri. Nothing else mattered. In the surrounding streets, men and women were emerging with blood all over their clothes. Thousands of windows had smashed into them and they stood there, dribbling blood on to their shoes and trousers and skirts as the first ambulancemen screamed at the firemen to clear their hoses from the pavements.

The length of the street was slippery with water and blood. I counted 22 cars exploding and burning. The Saudi billionaire who dined with kings and princes - whose personal friendship with Jacques Chirac helped Lebanon ride its $41bn (£21.7bn) public debt - had ended his life in this inferno.

In private, he did not hide his animosity towards the Hizbollah, whose attacks on Israeli occupation troops before their 2000 retreat would set back his plans for Lebanon'srecovery. And while he tolerated the Syrians, he had his own plans for their departure. Was it true, as they said in Beirut, that Hariri was the secret leader of the political opposition to the Syrian presence? Or were his enemies even more sinister people?

Lebanon is built on institutions that enshrine sectarianism as a creed, in which the president must always be a Christian Maronite, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim - like Hariri - and the speaker of parliament a Shia Muslim. Anyone setting out to murder Hariri would know how this could re-open all the fissures of the civil war from 1975 to 1990.

Thousands of weeping followers of Hariri gathered outside his palace at Koreitem last night, demanding to know who had killed their leader. Hariri men toured the streets, ordering shopkeepers to pull down their shutters. Were the ghosts of the civil war to be reawoken from their 15 years of slumber? I do not know the answer. But that black cloud that drifted for more than an hour over Beirut yesterday afternoon darkened the people beneath with more than its shadow.
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