An explosion targeting a US Embassy vehicle rocked the Doura suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, this morning. Four Lebanese bystanders were killed in the blast that also injured twenty. Though no US diplomats or citizens were in the car at the time, a Lebanese driver employed by the embassy was injured. The explosion sent dark, thick smoke billowing over the mainly Christian region.
Bordered by both Syria and Israel, this explosion comes on the heels of a tense political climate in Lebanon. Former pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud resigned in November and a parliamentary vote to find his successor has been postponed 11 times. Additionally, the July War, a 33-day conflict in Lebanon and northern Israel between Hezbollah forces and the Israeli military displaced nearly 1 million Lebanese and 500,000 Israelis, and severely damaged the Lebanese infrastructure in 2006.