BEIRUT – A powerful car bomb killed a key Lebanese terrorism investigator Friday, the latest in a string of bombings targeting prominent politicians and personalities that has kept nerves on edge in Lebanon’s troubled capital.
The midmorning attack also killed the police captain’s bodyguard and two passers-by, injured 38 people and ignited at least a dozen cars in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Hazmieh in northeastern Beirut.
Lebanese officials identified the target as Capt. Wissam Eid, an Internal Security Forces officer responsible for investigations into all the terrorist bombings that have plagued Lebanon over the past three years, most of them blamed on Syria.
Many of the past bombings had targeted anti-Syrian politicians and journalists, but recent attacks suggest a shift is taking place. In December, a top army general was killed, and last week, a car bomb targeted a U.S. Embassy vehicle.
The recent attacks have given rise to speculation that extremists linked to al-Qaida may be involved. The Lebanese army routed one such group, Fatah al-Islam, in a three-month battle in northern Lebanon last summer. But the group’s leader escaped and earlier this month issued an audio statement calling for attacks against the Lebanese army and its allies.