Two small bombs explode in central Lebanon

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The Independent Online

Two small bombs exploded in and around the Lebanese capital on Monday morning, causing damage but no casualties, police said.

Two small bombs exploded in and around the Lebanese capital on Monday morning, causing damage but no casualties, police said.

The blasts ­ four hours apart ­ were not immediately thought to be linked, but they occurred at a time of heightened political tension in the country sparked by a military crackdown on Christian political activists opposed to Syria.

The larger bomb exploded at 9am local time in a car parked near the telecommunications building in Beirut's Adlieh district, which also houses the Justice Ministry, the General Directorate of Security and the Lebanese Medical Association.

The blast ripped off the hood of the car and damaged several other vehicles. Police estimated the explosives weighed one kilogram.

The owner of the car, George Youssef Moawad, an employee of LibanPost, a semi­governmental company, heard the explosion in his office and came down and identified himself.

He was detained for questioning, said a police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In Jounieh, a town 20 kilometers north of Beirut, a bomb went off in a van parked in a street at 5am, police said.

The blast at wrecked the van, but caused no casualties.

The motives for the blasts were not known, but police said the Jounieh one appeared to be an act of personal vendetta.

For the past two weeks, Lebanese politics has been dominated by a crackdown on Christians opposed to Syria's 25,000 troops in Lebanon. The military, which detained the activists, accused them of promoting disunity. However, politicians have accused the military of exceeding its powers.

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