A powerful car bomb killed one of Lebanon’s top generals and his bodyguard in a suburb east of Beirut on Wednesday morning, striking an unexpected blow at the country’s most widely respected institution and further undermining Lebanon’s precarious stability.
The officer, Brig. Gen. François al-Hajj, was killed when a 77-pound bomb under a parked blue BMW sedan exploded as he drove past on his way to work at the Defense Ministry in the Baabda suburb.
General Hajj, 54, was a top contender to succeed Gen. Michel Suleiman, the army chief who is poised to become the country’s next president. He was also the operational commander in last summer’s three-month battle against Islamic militants holed up in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon. [complete article]
Editor’s Comment — After every other bombing in recent months, fingers have instantly been pointed at Syria and its Lebanese allies. There’s no point doing that this time. And that begs the question: was it simply too easy to do that before?