U.S. Embassy in Beirut Targeted With Gunfire

The U.S. Embassy in Lebanon was targeted with gunfire early on Wednesday, the country’s army said. A security guard was wounded during the episode, according to the embassy.

An attacker was also wounded before being arrested, the army said. The embassy did not say how the guard had been injured or how serious his injuries were. Earlier, it had said that all its staff members were safe.

Lebanese security forces and the embassy’s security team responded to “small-arms fire” near the entrance of the fortified compound, which overlooks the Lebanese capital, Beirut, the embassy said in a statement.

The Lebanese Army said in a statement that a Syrian national had opened fire and that soldiers deployed in response to the gunfire had wounded the attacker, who was being treated at a hospital after being arrested. The army did not say whether there was more than one attacker.

Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister, Najib Mikati, called the situation stable and said in a statement that an investigation was underway. Security forces were deployed at the scene and had blocked the road leading to the embassy, the country’s state news agency reported.

The U.S. Embassy was also targeted last September, when a gunman fired on the compound. No one was injured in that episode, and a suspect was arrested.

In October, demonstrators protesting after a deadly explosion at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza clashed with security forces when they attempted to reach the embassy.

The embassy moved from central Beirut to the suburb of Awkar to the north after a suicide bombing that killed 63 people in 1983. U.S. officials blamed that attack on Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, which is now engaged in cross-border clashes with Israeli forces.

Hwaida Saad contributed reporting.