Lebanese Army Captures Gunman After Shootout Outside US Embassy

Lebanese Army Captures Gunman After Shootout Outside US Embassy
Lebanese security stand guard on a road that leads to the U.S. Embassy in Aukar, a northern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, on June 5, 2024. (Bilal Hussein/AP Photo)

A shootout outside the U.S. Embassy on the outskirts of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, saw a gunman shot and wounded by Lebanese soldiers on the morning of June 5. The assailant was described as a Syrian national, according to the Lebanese military.

The attack occurred amid brewing tensions in the Middle-Eastern country, which borders the Mediterranean Ocean. The country has been subject to intense fighting for months between Hezbollah terrorists and Israeli troops.

Thousands have been displaced along Lebanon’s border as the country has been struggling with economic disarray amid a political deadlock for years.

No motive for the attack was immediately clear. According to photos published by Lebanese media, the bloodied attacker appeared to be wearing a black vest with the words “Islamic State” written in Arabic and the English initials “I” and “S.”

The assailant was taken to a hospital after being captured by the Lebanese military.

According to local media reports, the gunfight—which lasted close to half an hour—involved at least one attacker. A video that surfaced on social media showed a gunman in a parking lot across the embassy’s entrance shooting with what appears to be an assault rifle.

NTD Photo
Lebanese soldiers speak to a motorcyclist as they stand guard on a road that leads to the U.S. Embassy in Aukar, northern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon on June 5, 2024. (Hassan Ammar/AP Photo)

A local gas station worker said he heard at least 15-20 rounds of gunfire while on his shift that morning. The U.S. Embassy reported no casualties among their staff in the attack by the embassy’s entrance and said that Lebanese troops and embassy security responded quickly to the incident.

Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s office issued a statement, saying he was briefed that the situation had been diffused following meetings with the defense minister and army commander. It added that the incident is now being seriously investigated.

The Lebanese military said it deployed troops around the embassy and surrounding areas.

There have been several attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in the last four decades. In 1983, 63 people died as a result of a deadly bombing attack, for which U.S. officials blamed Hezbollah terrorists.

The attack resulted in the embassy being moved from central Beirut to the Christian suburb of Aukar, on the northern outskirts of the capital. After moving to the new location, the embassy was struck with another bomb attack in September 1984.

A Lebanese man was detained for opening fire by the U.S. Embassy in September last year. There were no casualties in that attack.

A month later, in October 2023, hundreds of protesters clashed with Lebanese security forces in demonstrations near the U.S. Embassy. The protesters held demonstrations, which quickly turned violent, in support of the terrorist group Hamas, which is being targeted by Israel’s military.

NTD has contacted the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon and the Lebanese Prime Minister’s office for further information but did not receive a reply before the publication of this article.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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