The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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August 11, 2011

iloubnan - Two handling explosives killed in Beirut blast: police - August 11, 2011

Two men were killed in a parking lot in Antelias (East Beirut) on Thursday when explosives they were handling detonated, causing a huge blast, a police official told AFP.
A passerby was wounded in the explosion, the official added, as a witness said he saw rescuers carrying away from the site a man whose arm and leg had been torn off. "Two people were killed in the blast that took place in a parking lot, near a commercial centre in Antelias," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity and referring to a Christian suburb of the Lebanese capital.

The police official identified the two victims as Ihsan Dia and Hassan Nassar, and said they were handling explosives when the blast occurred. "They were either holding the bomb or had explosives strapped to their bodies when the blast occurred," he said. "Their bodies were torn apart. "We also believe they were sitting inside a car or standing right next to it," he added.

A pool of blood could be seen on the ground in the parking lot, where several cars were damaged.

The police official said a car belonging to the son of Lebanese judge Albert Serhan was in the parking lot when the blast went off but it was unclear whether it was targeted. "My son is an engineer and he parks his car in that lot, along with his colleagues, near their office," judge Albert Serhan told AFP by telephone. "I have never been threatened nor does anyone in my family dabble in politics," he added.

Army and police forces immediately rushed to the site along with the Red Cross and cordoned off the area.

The blast sowed panic and raised fears of a repeat of the wave of deadly car bombs between 2004 and 2008 that targeted anti-Syrian journalists and politicians.

Billionaire ex-premier Rafiq Hariri was killed in a massive Beirut bombing on February 14, 2005 along with 22 others. The Hariri assassination sparked a wave of mass protests which, combined with international pressure, forced Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon in April 2005, ending a 29-year deployment.

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