Mis­sile hit near con­voy of ex-Le­banon PM Hariri, re­port says

Arab News - - News Middle East - AP Beirut

A mis­sile ex­ploded ear­lier this month near the con­voy of former Le­banese Prime Min­is­ter Saad Hariri while he vis­ited a moun­tain­ous area in the east­ern Bekaa Val­ley, a TV sta­tion re­ported on Sun­day.

Hariri’s of­fice in a state­ment said most of the re­port car­ried by Al-Ha­dath TV sta­tion was “gen­er­ally cor­rect.” The blast re­port­edly oc­curred some 500 me­ters away from Hariri’s mo­tor­cade on June 17. Hariri was re­turn­ing from a visit to the top in the Bekaa Val­ley, days after sec­tar­ian ten­sions and rare clashes in Beirut sparked by Le­banon’s on­go­ing eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial cri­sis, the worst in decades.

Hariri, him­self a Sunni Mus­lim, had re­signed in late Oc­to­ber

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Hariri was re­turn­ing from a visit to the top in the Bekaa val­ley, days after sec­tar­ian ten­sions and rare clashes in Beirut sparked by Le­banon’s on­go­ing eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial cri­sis, the worst in decades.

fol­low­ing na­tion­wide protests against the coun­try’s rul­ing elite, who demon­stra­tors blame for decades of cor­rup­tion and mis­man­age­ment.

Al-Ha­dath TV re­ported that the ex­plo­sion oc­curred as Hariri’s con­voy of some 30 ve­hi­cles was re­turn­ing to Beirut after the meet­ing with Sheikh Khalil Al-Mais in the east­ern vil­lage of Mak­seh. The re­port said se­cu­rity forces searched the area and found the re­mains of a mis­sile. It added that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der­way to de­ter­mine whether the mis­sile was fired from a drone or from the ground, as well as to de­ter­mine the type of mis­sile. Three Le­banese se­cu­rity and mil­i­tary of­fi­cials did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to re­quests for com­ment about the in­ci­dent from The Associated Press.

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