Lebanon charges 28 planning suicide attacks

2014-07-07 18:53
A Lebanese man runs in front of a burned car, at the scene where two explosions have struck near the Iranian Embassy killing many, in Beirut, Lebanon. (Hussein Malla, AP)

A Lebanese man runs in front of a burned car, at the scene where two explosions have struck near the Iranian Embassy killing many, in Beirut, Lebanon. (Hussein Malla, AP)

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Beirut - A Lebanese public prosecutor has charged 28 people with planning to carry out suicide bomb attacks and belonging to the militant group Islamic State, Lebanon's state news agency said on Monday.

The move comes after three bombings in Lebanon late last month and a security crackdown in the capital Beirut and other parts of the country.

Lebanon has suffered a wave of sectarian violence linked to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, which are fighting insurgencies and have lost control of large tracts of land to Islamic State, a powerful jihadi militant group straddling the border.

Seven of the 28 charged on Monday are in custody, the agency said. The prosecutor at the military court charged the group with buying equipment to carry out attacks in residential areas of Beirut and for supplying it to potential bombers.

The case has now been referred to a military magistrate, the agency added.

Lebanese authorities have carried out a series of security raids on hotels in the capital and other parts of the country in recent weeks after the latest series of attacks.

The head of Lebanon's General Security service narrowly escaped a suicide bombing near the Syrian border on 20 June. Three days later, an attacker blew up his car near an army checkpoint in Beirut, killing himself and a security officer.

A suicide bomber wounded three security officers in a hotel close to the Saudi Arabian embassy in the capital two days later. Shortly before that bombing, security forces detained 17 people at a Beirut hotel on suspicion of planning attacks.

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