Explosions hit U.S. restaurants in Lebanon

By DALAL SAOUD  |  Nov. 12, 2002 at 10:40 AM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Explosions hit three U.S. fast-food restaurants in different parts of Lebanon Tuesday, causing material damage but no injuries, police sources said.

The sources said the explosions, which occurred at dawn, targeted two Pizza Huts located in Jounieh, 12 miles north of Beirut; and Tripoli, about 44 miles north of the capital.

A third bomb ripped through another U.S.-fast-food restaurant, Winners, in the area of Ghazir near Jounieh.

The restaurants and nearby shops were damaged.

Government Commissioner Judge Maroun Zakhour, who inspected the sites, said the explosions were caused by sticks of dynamites and that preliminary investigations revealed "some details that could lead to know the culprits."

The explosions may be connected to calls for boycotting U.S. products because of what many Arabs see as Washington's support of Israel in its war against the Palestinians and its threat to strike Iraq.

Last May, an explosive charge went off in front of a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in northern Lebanon, slightly wounding one worker.

During the past months, dozens of young Lebanese have staged peaceful protests in front of several U.S. franchises such as McDonalds and Starbucks to urge the boycott of U.S. products. Their protests were part of a campaign to urge Lebanese and Arabs to boycott U.S. products.

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