Shooting outside US Embassy in Lebanon under investigation

A late-night shooting near the American embassy in Lebanon is under investigation by the U.S. and local security agencies, officials revealed Thursday.

A State Department spokesperson told The Hill that shots from a small-caliber weapon were reported about 10:37 p.m. local time Wednesday near the entrance to the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, adding there were no injuries and that the facility is safe. The spokesperson noted the department is in close contact with local law enforcement, and it is investigating the incident alongside local authorities.

A Lebanese official told The Associated Press the country’s army took measures and launched the investigation, which will include analyzing security camera footage. At least five bullet holes were recorded near the entrance to the embassy, the AP noted.

Attacks against Americans in Lebanon are not uncommon. The State Department has a “Reconsider Travel” advisory in place for the country due to crime, terrorism, armed conflict, civil unrest and kidnapping. Furthermore, the department warns the embassy has “limited capacity” to aid U.S. citizens who travel to Lebanon.

In 1983, a suicide bomber drove into a four-story building that killed 241 U.S. service members at the U.S. Marine barracks at the Beirut airport — marking the deadliest Lebanese attack against Americans.

A separate bombing attack earlier that year targeted the Beirut Embassy, killing 63 people, including 17 Americans. Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group, was responsible for the bombing, U.S. officials concluded.

More recent attacks include a 2008 explosion that targeted a U.S. Embassy vehicle in northern Beirut, which killed at least three Lebanese citizens and wounded an American passerby.

The Associated Press contributed.

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