Lebanese officials work to ID suicide bomber

Jan. 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Investigators were trying to determine whether a man from northern Lebanon was the suicide bomber in a blast that killed at least five people, police said.

Security officials said identification papers belonging to 19-year-old Qotaiba Mohammad al-Satem, from the Akkar region of Wadi Khaled in north Lebanon, was found in the debris from Thursday's car bombing in the Beirut suburb of Haret Hreik, the (Beirut) Daily Star reported.

"The discovery of the identification document does not necessarily imply that the man was a suicide bomber," a security official said.

DNA tests were being conducted on the victims of Thursday's car bombing.

Authorities found what they believe are body parts of the alleged suicide bomber, the Star said. Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said human remains inside the vehicle used in the explosion suggest a suicide bomber may have been involved.

A suspected suicide car bombing Thursday in one of Beirut's southern suburbs killed at least five people and wounded more than 70, the Star said.

Political analysts and March 14 Lebanese leaders blamed Hezbollah for providing military help to Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces for the car bombings that struck Hezbollah strongholds in Beirut's southern suburbs as well as the Iranian Embassy in Beirut in recent months.

"Lebanon is paying the price of a regional bloody ping-pong game," Sami Nader, a professor of economics and international relations at Universite St.-Joseph, told the Star. "This game will continue because there is no single chance for any regional summit to bring about political solutions to the conflicts in the region."

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