Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lebanon's new bombs: Killing fewer, but more frequently

[Originally posted at NOW]

Today’s suicide attack in Choueifat, south of Beirut, is the 14th vehicle bombing to have hit Lebanon since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis, and the 5th to have occurred in 2014 alone. I only know this because, since the November 2013 double suicide bombing of the Iranian embassy, I’ve felt the need to maintain a database recording the details of each attack; thinking it was an unhealthy sign when one started to lose track of the number of murderous explosions taking place in one’s own country of residence.

A more comprehensive analysis of these data, complete with interactive graphics, will be published by NOW in the coming days, but in the meantime, the following observations may be among the most salient:
  • While earlier car bombs tended to be infrequent, but massively destructive spectacles (e.g. the 15 August 2013 Ruwais bomb, killing 27, and the twin Tripoli mosque bombs 8 days later, which killed 45); the last seven have occurred with much higher frequency, but with lower death tolls (all claimed fewer than 10 lives)
  • Seven of the fourteen (50%) have occurred in Beirut and its southern suburbs, with the remainder taking place in Tripoli, the south, and the Beqaa Valley.
  • Jabhat al-Nusra in Lebanon is the only group to have claimed more than one attack (it’s claimed three so far). The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, the Abdallah Azzam Brigades, the Aisha Mother of the Believers Brigade, and the 313 Special Forces Brigade have each claimed one. Seven attacks have not been claimed by anyone.
  • Two of the bombings have been assassinations (of police intelligence chief Wissam al-Hassan in October 2012 and former ambassador and minister Mohamad Chatah in December 2013).
  • The 14 bombings have killed a total of at least 122, with a number of wounded still hospitalized in critical condition.
Look out for much more detail in NOW’s upcoming interactive report.

No comments:

Post a Comment