Explosion Near CNEWA’s Beirut Office

Explosion in Beirut, Lebanon

Yesterday, an explosion shook the streets of Beirut, Lebanon, near CNEWA’s local office. BBC reports:

Two people have been killed after a bomb exploded in a car park in the Lebanese capital Beirut, police say.

A third person, a passerby, was injured in the blast, which happened in the busy northern suburb of Antelias.

A car used by the son of a judge was in the car park at the time, but they do not believe it was the target.

Police said the two people killed had been handling the explosives, but it is not clear if they were placing the bomb or trying to get rid of it.

The blast happened at around 11.30 local time and security forces quickly sealed the area and brought in bomb-sniffing dogs, reports say.

The article goes on to note that one MP “described the blast as an act of terrorism and said security forces are investigating the incident.” However, a message received early today from Issam Bishara, CNEWA’s Regional Director for Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt and Vice President of the Pontifical Mission, contradicts this:

It turned out to be a dispute between two second hand car dealers. One dealer decided to put a bomb (hand grenade) in the car of the other, but the bomb exploded in the hands of the two guys planting it and who obviously mishandled it. Those two died and one passerby was slightly injured. Three or four cars were damaged.

The bomb exploded in the parking lot of one of the banks that we deal with for our micro-credit program.

While our program director visits that institution on a near-daily basis, Issam concludes: “Everyone is safe. Thanks be to God.”

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