Lebanese security services have launched an investigation into a late-night shooting outside the US embassy in Lebanon that caused no injuries, officials said Thursday.
No one claimed responsibility for Wednesday night’s small arms fire near the entrance to the heavily fortified compound in Beirut’s northeastern suburb of Awkar. It was not immediately clear whether the incident was a politically motivated attack.
US Embassy spokesman Jake Nelson said there were “no injuries and our facilities are secure”. He added: “We are in close contact with the law enforcement authorities of the host country.”
SYRIANS TRYING TO ENTER LEBANON ILLEGALLY INJURED IN LAND EXPLOSION
Shortly after the shooting, the Lebanese army took action near the embassy and security services later launched an investigation, including analyzing security cameras in the area, a Lebanese official said on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the deadly bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut on April 18, 1983, which killed 63 people, including at least 17 Americans. Senior CIA officials were among those killed in the 1983 embassy attack in a coastal Beirut neighborhood. An American official blamed the militant organization Hezbollah.
There have been no reported attacks on the embassy in recent years, although Lebanon has a long history of attacks against Americans since the start of the 1975-90 civil war.
In 2008, an explosion targeted a US embassy vehicle in northern Beirut, killing at least three Lebanese and injuring an American bystander and a local embassy employee. The blast, which damaged the armored SUV and several other vehicles, occurred shortly before a farewell reception for the US ambassador at a hotel in downtown Beirut.
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In October 1983, a truck bombing killed 241 US soldiers at the US Marine barracks at the Beirut airport.
In 1976, the US ambassador to Lebanon, Francis E. Meloy Jr., and an aide, Robert O. Waring, were kidnapped and shot to death in Beirut. In 1984, William Buckley, CIA station chief in Beirut, was kidnapped and murdered by the Islamic Jihad organization.
The US withdrew all diplomats from Beirut in September 1989 and did not reopen its embassy until 1991.