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Explosion hits US embassy vehicle in Beirut
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An explosion targeted a US embassy vehicle on Tuesday in northern Beirut, killing four persons and wounded over 20 others, local TV broadcaster LBC said.


The report said all the dead were Lebanese, including a Lebanese driver serving in the US embassy.



Lebanese soldiers and red cross workers stand near charred cars at the site of explosion in Beirut, Lebanon Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008.


But the US State Department said the Lebanese driver of the US embassy car was slightly injured. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said all the four killed were local residents.


McCormack also said that he was not able to confirm whether the US embassy car was the target of the explosion.


Meanwhile, local Naharnet news website reported that two US embassy employees were injured in the explosion, which occurred in the predominantly Christian Dora-Karantina neighborhood.


A source at the US embassy was quoted by as saying that the two US citizens are "embassy employees, they are wounded, but in a stable condition."


"The attack did not result in killing any US citizen," the source said, refusing to disclose further details as to whether the two wounded Americans are diplomats.


TV pictures showed a car severely damaged in the explosion, which also inflicted damage to about 20 cars in the crowded industrial zone.


During the last three years, Lebanon has been rocked by a series of blasts, which started with the 2004 assassination attempt against Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamade.


The most recent attempt occurred on Jan. 8, when a UN peacekeeping vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb south of Beirut, leaving two Irish peacekeepers injured.


(Xinhua News Agency January 16, 2008)

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