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Beirut bomber identified as militant linked to al-Qaida

Jan. 5, 2014 at 11:06 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Lebanese authorities said the suspect in a car bombing last week was a known terrorist who had recently been fighting in Syria.

The army said the bomber who blew himself up in a Beirut suburb Thursday was a Lebanese citizen known to have spent as much as three months battling the Syrian regime.

The bomb he detonated killed four people and injured 77 in a Beirut neighborhood known as a stronghold of support for Hezbollah, which has been a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

A Hezbollah member of Parliament spoke at a funeral for one of the victims Saturday and chastised the Lebanese government for supposedly tolerating anti-Assad terrorists operating inside Lebanon, the (Beirut) Daily Star reported.

"There are members of Nusra Front and ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] in Lebanon and these politicians insist on justifying the logic of terrorism while we oppose all kinds of bombings in Lebanon," MP Ali Ammar said.

The ISIS, which is linked to al-Qaida, this weekend took credit for Thursday's bombing and called it the "first installment" of its campaign against Hezbollah, which the insurgent group's statement referred to as "the party of Satan."

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