Lebanese firemen extinguish a car burning at the site of an explosion in a suburb north of Beirut January 15, 2008. At least three people were killed in an explosion in Beirut on Tuesday which wounded a passenger in a diplomatic car, security sources said, and Lebanon's LBC television channel said a US embassy car was hit. [Agencies]
POLITICAL, SECURITY WOES
Lebanon's stability has also been rocked by attacks on U.N. peacekeepers in the south and an insurrection by al Qaeda-inspired Islamist militants in the north last year.
Alongside its security problems, the country has been suffering a political conflict pitting the governing coalition against the Hezbollah-led opposition.
The government said in a statement the best response to the attack should be commitment to an Arab initiative to end the political crisis. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa is due in Beirut Wednesday to resume a mediation effort.
The dispute has paralyzed government for more than a year and blocked the election of a new president, leaving Lebanon with no head of state for the first time since its 1975-90 civil war.
US personnel in Lebanon were targeted during that conflict by Iranian-backed groups, including militants who blew up the US Embassy in 1983 and kidnapped American diplomats.
Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran and listed by Washington as a terrorist group, had described Bush's tour as a "black day" for the region. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the group's leader, denounced the bombing "regardless of who might be targeted."
US Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman is due to leave his post at the end of January and the embassy cancelled a farewell reception marking his departure later in the day.