BEIRUT: The mukhtar of Fnaydeq in north Lebanon denied Monday media reports that a local from his town was the suicide bomber behind the deadly weekend attack in the northeastern city of Hermel, saying that the resident was alive and well.
“Such reports are not true, the man is alive and he is here with us,” Fnaydeq Mukhtar Mohammad Khalaf told The Daily Star, referring to 29-year-old Amjad Fawzi Abdel-Karim, who was named in several media reports as being the suicide bomber behind the attack in Hermel.
Khalaf said he was contacted by security forces who asked him about Abdel-Karim.
“We received calls from various security agencies including Army Intelligence and we assured them that the man is alive,” Khalaf said.
According to the local official, Abdel-Karim’s family denounced the media reports, describing them as attempts to tarnish the reputation of their son.
On Saturday, a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle near a gas station in the city of Hermel, killing three civilians and wounding 23 others.
The bombing was the second to target the pro-Hezbollah region in just over two weeks.
Nursa Front in Lebanon, an Al-Qaeda-linked group, claimed responsibility for the blast, saying it was in retaliation for Hezbollah’s military role in Syria. The group has claimed three attacks in Lebanon.