Gunman opens fire at US Embassy in Lebanon, army injures assailant in returned fire

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The Lebanese army thwarted an attack by gunmen on the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon on Wednesday morning in Beirut. One assailant was reportedly killed.

A Lebanese security official told The Associated Press that there were four assailants, including one who drove them to the site and three who opened fire. One shooter was killed, one escaped and the third was wounded and detained by the Lebanese military.

The U.S. Embassy in Beirut said “small arms fire” was reported in the vicinity of its entrance around 8:34 a.m. local time, but that its facility and team were safe.

“Investigations are underway and we are in close contact with host country law enforcement,” the embassy wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

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Lebanese security stand guard

Lebanese security stand guard on a road that leads to the U.S. Embassy in Aukar, a northern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (AP)

A member of the embassy’s security team was wounded in the attack and the Lebanese army shot an attacker in the stomach, a security source told Reuters. The army is continuing to look through the area for other potential attackers.

The Lebanese military said it deployed troops around the embassy and surrounding areas.

The motives for the attack were not clear but Lebanese media published photos that appear to show a bloodied attacker wearing a black vest with the words “Islamic State” written in Arabic and the English initials “I” and “S.”

Local media reported there was a gunfight for almost half an hour by the U.S. diplomatic mission.

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Lebanese soldiers

A gunman was captured by Lebanese soldiers after attempting to attack the U.S. Embassy near Beirut. (AP)

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The embassy is located in the suburb of Aukar, north of Beirut, in a highly secured zone with multiple checkpoints along the route to the entrance. It moved there from Beirut after more than 60 people were killed in a suicide attack in 1983.

In September, Lebanese security forces detained a Lebanese man who opened fire by the U.S. Embassy. No casualties were reported in that attack.

The following month, hundreds of protesters clashed with Lebanese security forces in pro-Palestinian demonstrations near the U.S. Embassy amid the war between Hamas terrorists and Israeli forces.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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