News24

Blast rocks south Lebanon restaurant

2011-12-28 09:13

Tyre - An explosion tore through a restaurant in the southern Lebanese town of Tyre at dawn on Wednesday, just a few metres from a hotel that was bombed last month, a security source told AFP.

The explosion, which happened at about 05:00, was caused by a 2kg bomb made of TNT that was left on the staircase of the seaside Tyros restaurant. There were no injuries.

The establishment is close to the Queen Elissa Hotel, whose nightclub was the target of a bombing attack on November 16. There were no victims in that attack and no one has claimed responsibility.

A nearby liquor store was targeted the same night.

There was speculation the establishments were targeted for selling alcohol in the majority Shiite Muslim town, after a string of liquor stores were forced to close in the face of a prohibition campaign in the country's south.

The Tyros restaurant also sold alcohol, which is widely available in Lebanon, considered the most liberal country in the Arab world.

Alcohol is banned, however, in areas under the control of the militant Shiite group Hezbollah and radical Sunni movements.

Earlier this month, a powerful bomb struck a UN peacekeeping vehicle in Tyre, wounding five French soldiers and a civilian.