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Terrorist Attack In Lebanon

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire as a car burns at the scene of the car bomb explosion in Ashafriyeh, central Beirut, October 19, 2012.

The United States remains committed to an independent, sovereign, and stable Lebanon.

A huge car bomb exploded in Beirut's Achrafieh neighborhood during rush hour on October 19th, killing top security official Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan and seven others, and wounding about 80.

Terrorist Attack In Lebanon
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Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan was in charge of a top intelligence unit, Lebanon's al-Jadeed. He had led an investigation that uncovered a recent bomb plot that led to the arrest of a pro-Syrian Lebanese politician.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned "in the strongest terms the acts of terrorism" that took place in Beirut and has pledged U.S. assistance with the investigation into who is responsible. "The assassination of the Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan, who was a strong defender of Lebanon's security and its people," said Secretary Clinton, “is a dangerous sign that there are those who continue to seek to undermine Lebanon's stability. Lebanon must close the chapter of its past and bring an end to impunity for political assassinations and other politically motivated violence." The U.S. calls on all parties to exercise restraint and respect for Lebanon's stability and security.

The war in Syria, which has killed 30,000 people in the past 19 months, has pitted mostly Sunni insurgents against Assad, who is from the Alawite sect linked to Shi'ite Islam. Lebanon's religious communities are divided between those supporting Assad and those backing the rebels trying to overthrow him.

Secretary Clinton urged Lebanon's political leaders to work together to ensure that calm prevails and that those responsible for the attack are brought to justice. The United States remains committed to an independent, sovereign, and stable Lebanon and will work with its partners to preserve Lebanon's security and stability.