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Suicide bomber wounds 10 in Beirut hotel

June 25, 2014 10:11 P.M. (Updated: June 26, 2014 10:34 A.M.)
BEIRUT (AFP) -- A man blew himself up in a Beirut hotel on Wednesday as security forces stormed his room, killing himself and wounding 10 other people, a senior Lebanese official said.

An accomplice of the suicide bomber who was also in the room survived the blast, the official said.

"When the security forces entered their hotel room, they blew themselves up by detonating the explosives beside them. One died and the other is wounded," the official said.

Interior Minister Nuhad Mashnuq, who visited the scene of the bombing, said the wounded bomber was a Saudi and was in custody.

Three of the other wounded were security personnel, military prosecutor Sakr Sakr said.

Seven more were civilians, the Lebanese Red Cross said.

An AFP photographer saw broken windows and flames shooting from the third and fourth storeys of the Duroy Hotel, a four-star establishment in the Raoucheh quarter of west Beirut, mainly frequented by Gulf Arab tourists.

The police raid followed the arrest last Friday in a hotel in the nearby Hamra district of the capital of a Frenchman of Comoran origin on suspicion of plotting to carry out suicide bombings in Lebanon on behalf of the Wahhabi Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group.

That is the same group that has spearheaded the offensive by Sunni Arab militants that has swept up a big swathe of northern and north-central Iraq over the past two weeks and also made gains in neighboring Syria.

On Monday, the Al-Akbar newspaper reported that investigators suspected the detained Frenchman was part of a cell of four would-be suicide bombers who had entered Lebanon.

The same night, a young police inspector was killed as he stopped a car driving the wrong way up a street towards a cafe in the Shiyah district of south Beirut whose driver then blew it up.

The bomber also wounded 12 other people.
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