Two Blasts Rock South Lebanon Hotel Popular With UN Staff

Blast went off in pub of Queen Elissa Hotel in port city of Tyre; minutes later, another explosion damaged a liquor store; no casualties reported.

A bomb exploded Wednesday at a hotel frequented by UN staffers in southern Lebanon, causing damage but no casualties, a Lebanese security official said.

The official said the blast struck the pub at the Queen Elissa Hotel in the port city of Tyre early in the morning. Rubble littered the pavement outside the hotel, and part of the ground floor was badly damaged by the blast.

Tyre, second lebanon war - AP - July 2006

Another explosion minutes later damaged a liquor store in the city, also causing no casualties. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

It wasn't immediately clear whether UN staffers were the target of the attack at the hotel. The blast shattered the windshield of one UN SUV parked outside the inn. Lebanese troops and peacekeepers cordoned off the area after the explosion.

The official estimated the hotel bomb to weigh about 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds), adding that a sample was sent to Beirut to determine the type of explosives used.

Tyre is a predominantly Muslim city and serving alcohol is common at hotels and restaurants.

There have been several attacks against UN peacekeepers in Lebanon in the past, most recently in July, when a roadside bomb blew up next to a UN convoy carrying French peacekeepers in southern Lebanon, wounding at least five people.

UN peacekeepers have been deployed in southern Lebanon since 1978 to monitor the border with Israel. The force was boosted to almost 12,000 troops after Israel and Hezbollah fought a war in 2006.

Under the UN resolution that ended the fighting, the mission is monitoring a zone south of the Litani River where Hezbollah is banned from keeping weapons.