Blast Rocks Tyre Restaurant but Owner Insists on Serving Alcohol

An explosion tore through a restaurant in the southern city of Tyre at dawn Wednesday in an alleged attempt to thwart its owner from holding New Year’s Eve celebrations and serving alcohol.

The explosion, which happened at around 5:00 am local time, was caused by a two kilogram bomb made of TNT that was left on the staircase of the seaside Tyros restaurant. There were no injuries.

The establishment is close to the Queen Elissa Hotel, whose nightclub was the target of a bombing attack on November 16. There were no victims in that attack and no one has claimed responsibility.

A nearby liquor store was targeted the same night.

There was speculation the establishments were targeted for selling alcohol in the majority Shiite city, after a string of liquor stores were forced to close in the face of a prohibition campaign in the South.

Voice of Lebanon radio station (93.3) said that the attack was aimed at forcing restaurants in the city at cancelling New Year’s Eve parties.

Tyros’ owner, Zuhair Arnaout, told LBC TV that a banner advertising the celebrations he would hold on the weekend was torn off on Tuesday.

He said security forces launched an investigation but the explosion took place the next day.

But Arnaout insisted that he will fix the damage, go ahead with the celebrations and serve alcohol.

Source: Agence France Presse, Naharnet

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