Gunfire Rings Out as US Embassy in Lebanon Comes Under Attack

A gunman attacked the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon on Wednesday morning, injuring one security guard before he was shot

Local media reported the shooting lasted for almost half an hour, according to the Associated Press.

Joe Abdo, who works at a gas station near the American embassy compound, said he heard “around 15 to 20 rounds of gunfire.”

The suspect was identified as a Syrian national, and he was shot twice before being taken into custody and taken to a military hospital by the Lebanese military.

No motive was given.


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“All American personnel in Lebanon are safe and accounted for,” said Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, according to ABC. “One of our Lebanese local guard staff was wounded. He is receiving care.”

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Lebanese media published images of a bloodied man wearing a black vest with the Arabic words “Islamic State” and English initials “I” and “S,” the AP reported.

A report from CBS said that at one time, reports were indicating four people were involved in the attack, but later reports said only one person was involved in the shooting.

The U.S. Embassy said gunfire took place near the entrance of the embassy, but no embassy staff were injured.

“At 8:34 a.m. local time, small arms fire was reported in the vicinity of the entrance to the U.S. Embassy,” it said in a statement.

“Thanks to the quick reaction of host country security forces and our Embassy security team, our facility and our team are safe. Investigations are underway and we are in close contact with host country law enforcement,” the statement said.


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The embassy was closed for the rest of the day Wednesday but said it would reopen on Thursday.

“U.S. citizens should avoid travel to the Lebanon-Israel border area, the Lebanon-Syria border area, and refugee settlements.  In all parts of Lebanon, you should avoid demonstrations and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings or protests,” the statement said.

Lebanese officials responded to the attack, according to NBC.

“I condemn the attack that took place on the US Embassy in Beirut this morning,” Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib said.

A State Department advisory warns against travel to Lebanon, where, according to NBC, Israel may be planning a military response to recent attacks from Lebanon-based Hezbollah.

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