Suspected militants detained near US Beirut embassy

10 December 2003
A Palestinian and a Lebanese man, one of who was carrying a sports bag filled with explosives, were arrested on 12 December near the US embassy compound on the outskirts of Beirut. 'A person with a suspected improvised explosive device tried to get to the embassy,' an embassy source told Reuters. 'Embassy guards found him suspicious... The Lebanese army forces arrested him.' The men are being questioned.

The arrest comes two days after a court in Beirut charged 10 men with planning to carry out attacks on US fast food chains in Lebanon. The government is currently holding 35 people indicted by the state for bombing or planning to bomb US and British targets in Lebanon between May 2002 and April 2003. Most of them are Lebanese, but Egyptian, Saudi and Yemeni nationals are believed to be among those detained.

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