AFP's Press Report

(Tuesday October 28, 1997)

   BEIRUT, Oct 27 (AFP) - A bomb exploded late Monday at the  
American University in Beirut (AUB) in the first such attack against 
a foreign institution here in at least four years. 
   The blast brought down a wall and blew out windows at the  
university but caused no casualties, police and witnesses said. 
   The blast was caused by a 1 kilogramme (two pound) charge of  
dynamite thrown into the university campus, police and witnesses 
   A car was also badly damaged in the explosion for which no one  
had claimed responsibility half an hour after midnight (2230 GMT). 
   The blast took place a few hours after a reception held in  
honour of the university president, John Waterberry. 
   Waterberry, who lives in the United States, is currently  
visiting the campus.  During the reception, he had announced plans 
to move to live in Beirut. 
   The university public relations director, Ibrahim Khoury, said  
that "at 22:45 (2145 GMT) a man threw dynamite onto the campus 
between two buildings where teachers and their families live." 
   Several Lebanese and foreign lecturers ran out of the buildings  
with their families. 
   "It's repugnant. We really didn't need this now," Khoury said.  
   The university, one of the largest in the Arab world, is located  
in the Moslem-majority western sector of the city, on the 
   A wing of the university was destroyed by a powerful blast on  
November 8 1991 at the end of the civil war in Lebanon.  The oldest 
and most renowned of its buildings, the College Hall was destroyed. 
   In the 1980s, the president of the AUB, Malcolm Kerr was  
assassinated on leaving his office.  The killer was never found. 
   On July 30, the United States lifted a ban on travelling to  
Lebanon imposed in 1985 for US nationals. 
   The ban had been ordered following the hijacking of a TWA  
airliner to Beirut. 
   But though the "travel ban" was lifted, US Secretary of State  
Madeleine said Lebanon remained a "dangerous" place and advised 
Americans not to go there. 
   US diplomats based in Beirut never use Beirut airport but fly  
directly here from Cyprus.  They always use armoured vehicles when 
travelling in the city and the ambassador's car is always preceded 
and followed by two vehicles topped by heavy machine-guns. 
   The embassy itself which lies on a hill at the northern entrance  
to the city, is a fortress. 

Created by the Documentation Center at AUB in collaboration with Al Mashriq of Høgskolen i Østfold, Norway.

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