Lebanon arrests 9 over Beirut bombings

Interior Minister Nuhad Mashnouq said they have arrested nine people, most of them Syrian nationals

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Lebanese security forces have arrested nine people, most of them Syrian nationals, over last week's twin bombings in Beirut that killed 44 people, the interior minister said Sunday.

"Until now the detained include seven Syrians and two Lebanese, one of them a (would-be) suicide bomber and the other a trafficker who smuggled them across the border from Syria," Interior Minister Nuhad Mashnouq said in a televised press conference.

The attack on Thursday was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

"The whole suicide bombing network and its supporters were arrested in the 48 hours following the explosion," Mashnouq said.

He said the Syrians were detained in a Palestinian refugee camp located in Burj al-Barajneh and a flat in the capital's eastern district of Ashrafieh that had been used to prepare the explosive belts.

The initial plan was apparently to send five suicide bombers to a hospital in the neighborhood, he said, but heavy security forced them to change the target to a densely populated area.

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