Monday, April 23, 2012

Lebanon: Restaurant Bombing in Tyre Hospitalizes Seven

Seven people were injured and hospitalized late on Sunday (April 22) in the Lebanese coastal city of Tyre when an IED detonated in the elevator adjacent to the Nocean Restaurant. The Nocean is well-known for attracting attracting large parties.

COMMENT: The blast area covered an area of some 1,000 meters (roughly half a mile), suggesting that the IED was of sufficient size to injure a large number of patrons.

Several restaurants in the Shia region of Lebanon have been damaged by bombs in recent months, the last occurring in December 2011. Two explosions have also targeted shops selling alcohol.

Tyre is one of the few towns in south Lebanon where alcohol is served in restaurants, which brings in tourists including members of the UN force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Nevertheless, increasing bomb incidents have dissuaded many establishments to stop serving alcohol.

Tyre is the fourth largest city in Lebanon and lies on the Mediterranean coast, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Beirut. Residents are referred to as Tyrians.

The city also services a major port and has a number of ancient sites, including its Roman Hippodrome which was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1979.

Not knowing whether restaurants have hired off-duty police to search for IEDs before opening, a prudent step for tourists and travelers is to use restaurants that do not serve alcohol.

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