An explosion that rocked the town of Antelias on Thursday was apparently the result of a personal dispute between car dealers. The blast killed two people who were in possession of an explosive device at the time of its detonation.
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel told the cabinet that the explosion was a result of a financial and personal dispute between several people, including some car dealers.
The two men, Hassan Nayef Nassar and Ihsan Ali Diya, were killed while pulling out the grenade detonator at a parking lot, he said.
Nassar hails from the village of Kfarhouna in Jezzine and resides there while Diya is from Bafleh in Tyre. However, he resides in Beirut’s southern suburbs.
Charbel stressed that the probe hasn’t revealed that a political or another known figure was targeted. Security forces are searching for a third person who is involved in the financial dispute, the minister said.
"Our investigation so far does not point to an act of sabotage," he told reporters.
In remarks to Voice of Lebanon radio station 100.5 on Friday, Charbel said that the victims most probably tried to plant the explosives device in the vehicle of a third person who owes them money.
However, a security source doubted the interior minister’s statement telling al-Liwaa daily that investigators were seeking to find a link between the location of the blast and the residence of Ralph Riachi, one of the Lebanese Judges at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. His home lies only 300 meters away.
Informed sources also told An Nahar newspaper that the discrepancy in the explanations and statements made over the explosion before the end of the probe raised doubts about the incident.
Media reports had said that State Shura Council Judge Albert Serhan was the likely target. His car was parked in the parking lot where the bomb blast went off.
But the judge denied that he was being targeted. "My son is an engineer and he parks his car in that lot, along with his colleagues, near their office," Serhan said.
"I have never been threatened nor does anyone in my family dabble in politics," he added.