World Bulletin / News Desk
Lebanese authorities have identified the second bomber who attacked the Iranian embassy in Beirut this week as a Palestinian man with ties to a fugitive Lebanese cleric, a security source said on Saturday.
Lebanese authorities had identified the first bomber a day earlier as a Lebanese man with ties to hardline Sunni Muslim groups.
The source said the second bomber, who lived in southern Lebanon, was a follower of Ahmed al-Assir, a cleric whose supporters fought a two-day battle with the Lebanese army in June after barricading themselves in a mosque in the southern port city of Sidon.
Assir, a staunch supporter of the revolt in neighbouring Syria, was known for fiery sectarian and anti-Iranian rhetoric. He was not found when the army stormed the mosque and has been missing ever since.
Last Tuesday, twin blasts at the embassy killed 23 people, including the Iranian cultural attache, and wounded 146 others. Lebanese group the Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed the bombings and threatened more attacks if Iran did not end its involvement in the 2-1/2-year-old Syrian conflict.
The first bomber was identified as Moeen Abu Dahr after his father, Adnan Abu Dahr, recognized a photo released by security forces of one of the two bombing suspects.
Adnan said that his son, who had gone missing months before, had phoned his family days ago from Syria, asking his parents to "forgive" him, the source, requesting anonymity, told Anadolu Agency.
Lebanese authorities took the second bomber's father into custody for questioning, the security source said, after discovering that the bomber had ties to Assir.
A source with the family said that Moeen had left for Sweden years ago before moving to Syria to fight with opposition forces fighting the Bashar al-Assad regime.
He then returned home to Sidon in Lebanon, where he joined supporters of controversial preacher.
Military involvement by Hezbollah and Iran in al-Assad's ongoing conflict with armed rebel groups in Syria has drawn condemnation from Sunni-Muslim quarters both inside and outside Lebanon.Last Mod: 23 Kasım 2013, 16:21