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Explosion injures 11 in Beirut

Sunday, March 20, 2005

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Eleven residents of an apartment building in the Christian neighborhood of New Jdeideh, located in northern Beirut, Lebanon, were injured by an explosion just after midnight local time.

The explosion was caused by a bomb placed underneath a car that was parked near the eight-story building inhabited by the injured, and left a seven-foot-deep hole in the ground. The building was ruined by the blast.

The Lebanese army responded with a tighter security policy.

"The army will not allow that freedom of expression be abused in order to harm security and stability," declared the military statement.

Lebanese President Émile Lahoud decided not to attend the upcoming Arab summit, and appealed for talks to avoid religious violence.

"Car bomb messages do not threaten our national unity," said opposition leader Walid Jumblatt, speaking from his mountain palace in Mukhtara.

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