Gunman fires shots at US embassy in Lebanon
text size

Gunman fires shots at US embassy in Lebanon

The gunman and a security member were injured in the attack

Lebanese soldiers gesture as they secure the area near the US embassy in Awkar, Lebanon, on Wednesday. (Photo: Reuters)
Lebanese soldiers gesture as they secure the area near the US embassy in Awkar, Lebanon, on Wednesday. (Photo: Reuters)

AWKAR - The Lebanese army said it arrested a gunman who fired shots at the United States embassy north of the capital Beirut.

Soldiers deployed near the embassy fired back, wounding the man who was identified as Syrian, the army said in a statement. He was later arrested and taken to a hospital for treatment. 

The US embassy said that small arms fire was reported at 8.34am local time in the vicinity of the embassy's entrance, adding that the facility and personnel are safe.

A security source told Reuters a member of the embassy’s security team was injured in the attack and that Lebanese soldiers wounded the attacker in the stomach.

The embassy lies north of Beirut in a highly secured zone with multiple checkpoints along the route to the entrance. It moved there from Beirut following a suicide attack in 1983 which killed more than 60 people.

The US has been a target of criticism for its support of Israel in the war in Gaza against Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by the US and the European Union (EU). There have been a few protests outside the US embassy since the war began on Oct 7.

In September, shots were fired near the embassy with no injuries reported.

In October, scores of protesters gathered outside the embassy to demonstrate in the early days of the Gaza war, and Lebanese security forces used tear gas and water cannon to repel them.

Lebanon has been the scene of conflict between Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel since October in parallel to the Gaza war. Tens of thousands of people on both sides of the Israel-Lebanon border have been uprooted amid fears that the war will deepen.

A view shows a watchtower of the US embassy in Awkar, Lebanon, on Wednesday. (Photo: Reuters)

The United States has been making diplomatic efforts to ease violence along the border.

The Lebanese group Hezbollah, Iran's most powerful proxy militia, has also been trading fire with Israel across the border.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT