A fork lift removes a damaged car at the site of the explosion in Tayyouneh, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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The suicide bomber who killed a security officer and wounded 25 people in this week's midnight attack had intended to strike "a big target" in Beirut's southern suburbs, but his plan was foiled by a sudden malfunction in his vehicle, judicial sources said Tuesday.The midnight suicide bombing outside a cafe near a Lebanese Army checkpoint in Tayyouneh, one of the main entrances into the southern suburbs, was the second to jolt Lebanon in three days, heightening fears of violent spillover from Syria and Iraq.The bomber's nervous behavior prompted Ali Jaber, one of the two officers, to race to the nearby Army checkpoint to alert them while Abdul-Karim Hodroj, a General Security sergeant, stayed with the bomber to ensure he did not escape.Seconds later, the bomber detonated the vehicle, killing Hodroj instantly, the source said. Lebanon has been on high alert since a suicide bombing at a police checkpoint on the Beirut-Damascus highway last Friday.A French national who was detained during a police raid on a hotel in Beirut last week said the Al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) recruited him to carry out a suicide attack in Lebanon, a source close to the investigation said. French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal confirmed Tuesday that a French national had been arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of planning a terror attack.
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