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Lebanon News

Army tests DNA of suspected Hermel bomber’s mother

A pictures shows the aftermath of a car bomb explosion which went off the previous day in front of the main government administration building in Hermel, a stronghold of Lebanon's Hezbollah near the border with Syria, on January 17, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/STR)

SIDON, Lebanon: The Lebanese Army conducted DNA tests Friday on samples taken from the mother of a suspected suicide bomber who killed four people in the town of Hermel in northeast Lebanon the day before.

Speaking to The Daily Star on condition of anonymity, security sources said that Army Intelligence in Sidon had summoned Aziza Eid to take samples of her DNA, after her son, Hussein Ghandour, was named a suspect in the suicide bombing.

Eid went to the Army barracks in Haret Saida, a suburb of Sidon, before traveling to Beirut to provide authorities with DNA samples.

The sources said that Ghandour, 23, had pledged allegiance to fugitive firebrand Sheikh Ahmad Assir. They added that Ghandour, a Shiite, might have converted to Sunni Islam.

The sources said that Ghanodur had left Sidon shortly after Assir’s disappearance last June, following clashes between the Army and gunmen loyal to Assir in the Abra suburb of the city.

At least 18 soldiers and dozens of Assir’s fighters were killed in the clashes. A fierce critic of Hezbollah, Assir remains at large.

The bomber killed four people in Hermel, where Hezbollah enjoys wide support. The fourth victim was identified as Abdel-Mottaleb Abbas.

Mouin Abu Daher, a supporter of Assir and also from Sidon, was one of two suicide bombers who attacked the Iranian Embassy in the Bir Hasan neighborhood of Beirut last November. The other suicide bomber was identified as Adnan Mousa Mohammad, a Palestinian who lived in south Lebanon.

The sources said Ghandour telephoned his mother three times after he left Sidon, adding that in the last call he asked her for forgiveness.

The two suicide bombers who attacked the Iranian Embassy also called their mothers asking for forgiveness prior to staging the attack.

Before disappearing, Ghandour, a university student, lived with his family in the Fawwar district of Sidon near the Taamir neighborhood, which is adjacent to the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 18, 2014, on page 3.

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Summary

The Lebanese Army conducted DNA tests Friday on samples taken from the mother of a suspected suicide bomber who killed four people in the town of Hermel in northeast Lebanon the day before.

Eid went to the Army barracks in Haret Saida, a suburb of Sidon, before traveling to Beirut to provide authorities with DNA samples.

Mouin Abu Daher, a supporter of Assir and also from Sidon, was one of two suicide bombers who attacked the Iranian Embassy in the Bir Hasan neighborhood of Beirut last November.


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