A tragic series of terror attacks paralyzed the capital city of Paris in France on Friday, as gunmen and suicide bombers swept through several restaurants, bars, and a concert hall, taking hostages and opening fire indiscriminately. In the hours that followed, citizens across the globe gathered to grieve, many struggling to come to terms with the devastation, which took the lives of at least 129 people. But while the scale of the destruction was shocking, it also managed to pull the public’s attention from a similar incident nearly 2,000 miles away. What happened in Beirut, Lebanon, on Thursday was largely forgotten in all the chaos.
“When my people died, no country bothered to light up its landmarks in the colors of their flag,” Lebanese doctor Elie Fares wrote in a blog post referenced by The New York Times on Monday, citing the public outpouring of support following the Paris attacks, in which numerous countries lit up recognizable buildings and monuments with the colors of the French flag. “When my people died, they did not send the world in mourning [because] their death was but an irrelevant fleck along the international news cycle, something that happens in those parts of the world.”
Thursday’s incident in Beirut was indeed a tragic one. And while the details of the attack are still rolling in, police have so far been able to paint a basic picture of what happened that day.
In one of the worst terror attacks to hit Beirut in 25 years, two suicide attackers on Thursday detonated twin bombs in the southern suburb of Burj al-Barajneh, killing 43 and injuring another 200. According to Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency, the attacks targeted an open air market and were spaced less than 500 feet apart at around 6 p.m. local time, during the city’s busy rush hour.
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