BEIRUT (AP) — A missile exploded earlier this month near the convoy of former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri while he visited a mountainous area in the eastern Bekaa Valley, a Saudi-owned TV station reported Sunday.

Hariri’s office in a statement said most of the report carried by Al-Hadath TV station was “generally correct.” The blast reportedly occurred some 500 meters (yards) away from Hariri’s motorcade on June 17.

Hariri was returning from a visit to the top Sunni cleric in the Bekaa valley, days after sectarian tensions and rare clashes in Beirut sparked by Lebanon’s ongoing economic and financial crisis, the worst in decades.

Hariri, himself a Sunni Muslim, had resigned in late October following nationwide protests against the country’s ruling elite, who demonstrators blame for decades of corruption and mismanagement.

Al-Hadath TV reported that the explosion occurred as Hariri’s convoy of some 30 vehicles was returning to Beirut after the meeting with sheikh Khalil al-Mais in the eastern village of Makseh.

The report said security forces searched the area and found the remains of a missile. It added that an investigation was underway to determine whether the missile was fired from a drone or from the ground, as well as to determine the type of missile.

Three Lebanese security and military officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the incident from The Associated Press.

Hariri’s office said the former prime minister was informed by security services of an explosion in the area on the same day.

But because “the convoy was not subjected to any attack, and to prevent any exploitation in light of the prevailing tension,” Hariri decided to remain silent about the incident and wait for the investigation to end.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.