Early this morning (November 16) two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) detonated at a nightclub and a liquor store in the Lebanese city of Tyre, one of the few areas of the conservative south where alcohol is available. There were no casualties in either incident, but both IEDs caused severe damage to property.
COMMENT: One of the bombs targeted the Elissa Queen Hotel on the seafront of the scenic Mediterranean coastal town. The hotel nightclub is a favourite with UN peacekeepers deployed in south Lebanon The second device detonated at a shop selling alcohol in the Christian quarters. A string of liquor stores in south Lebanon were forced to close this year in the face of a campaign to rid the south of alcohol.
Alcohol is widely available in Lebanon, which is considered the most liberal country in the Arab world. Yet, alcohol sales are banned in areas under the control of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah and radical Sunni movements.