Blasts in south Lebanon "not terror attacks"
Beirut - Bomb blasts that targeted a liquor store and a hotel in the southern Lebanese city of Tyre on Wednesday were not terror attacks but likely the work of Muslim groups opposed to the sale and consumption of alcohol, a senior Lebanese official said.
'The two blasts are not linked to terrorist attacks. They are the result of opposition to liquor trade,' Interior Minister Marwan Charbel told Voice of Lebanon radio.
Blasts went off at a liquor store and the Elissa Hotel in the southern port city of Tyre, causing damage but no injuries.
Alcohol is widely available in Lebanon but it is banned in areas under the control of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah and extremist Sunni groups.
The three-storey hotel, which lies on the coast and includes a nightclub, is frequently visited by United Nations peacekeepers, a Lebanese security source said.
A UN source told dpa that peacekeeping forces went on alert following the attacks. The Lebanese army later assured UN commanders that the blasts were not terrorist attacks.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) maintains several bases in Tyre and its main headquarters are in Naqoura, which is only 20 kilometers south of the city.
There have been several attacks against UN peacekeepers in South Lebanon in the past. The most recent attack was in July, when a bomb targeted a UN convoy on a road near the southern port city of Sidon, wounding five French peacekeepers.