Beirut explosion targets U.S. Embassy vehicle

January 15, 2008 10:54:06 AM PST
An explosion targeted a U.S. Embassy vehicle Tuesday in northern Beirut, killing at least three Lebanese and injuring an American bystander and a local embassy employee, U.S. and Lebanese officials said. The blast, which damaged the armored SUV and several other vehicles, took place just ahead of a farewell reception for the American ambassador at a hotel in central Beirut.

No Americans were in the car, which was carrying two Lebanese employees of the embassy, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington.

There were conflicting accounts of the death toll, with the State Department, from information provided by the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, saying four people had been killed and Lebanese authorities saying that only three had died.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called the bombing a "terrorist attack."

"The United States will, of course, not be deterred in its efforts to help the Lebanese people, to help the democratic forces in Lebanon, to help Lebanon resist force and interference in their affairs," she told reporters in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.


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