Friday, February 23, 2007

Explosives found in residential areas

iExplosives were found in four different locations yesterday. Twice in the Christian neighborhood of Ashrafieh, once in the Christian village Ghbaleh in the Kesrouan region and once in the Christian town Jezzine. Pattern anyone? [to be complete: on Tuesday, explosives were found in the Sunni neighborhood of Beirut, Bir Hassan]

As usual, the Christian Lebanese are once again the target of the threats. It’s easy to forget: Rafiq Hariri was the only non-Christian politician/journalist assaulted or killed in the long list of attacks that have happened since his murder. The perpetrators are most likely targeting the Christians since they are an easy prey. It would be much more risky to stir up the always present rivalry between Sunnis and Shiites.

In the four above mentioned locations, TNT (dynamite) was found, up to 11 kilogram, right in front of houses, a shop and a restaurant. They showed on TV the dynamite. It was simply left behind, packed in some carton boxes. As always, no news yet on the people behind it.

Quite scary to see how easy it apparently is to plant dynamite without leaving a trace. This time, no detonators were present, so the dynamite could not have exploded. It’s intention was to give a message, and indeed: it is easy to see that next time the sticks will actually be detonated.

The incidents fits with a shifting of strategy of the bad guys: from attacking politicians and journalists, to innocent civilians. Without a doubt, they are doing this to increase the pressure on Siniora to reach a compromise with the Opposition before things get really out of hand.

Although nothing happened yesterday, the irrational reactions take over after events like this. The owner of the store (a barber) said that most customers cancelled their appointments. Also, the restaurant will be seeing little business the next few days.