The assassination of Major General Wissam al-Hassan, head of the police intelligence unit in Lebanon, by a car bomb in Beirut is both a personal and a political tragedy. Eight people were killed and many others injured, while the attack will threaten the stability of the government and the country, reviving fears of a return to the horrific civil war of 1975-1990. These pictures convey something of the death and devastation.
Last spring, I was in Beirut and you can read the account of my time in Lebanon here. I have checked on my friends in Beirut. They are well.
While I was in The Levant last year, I read a fascinating and disturbing book which spelled out how historically the small state of Lebanon has always been the cockpit for the wider political and military forces in the troubled region. You can read my review here. It puts this week’s assassination in a context.