A powerful bomb severely damaged one of Lebanon’s biggest banks but caused no casualties, officials said
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MP Walid Jumblatt linked the blast to attempts to undermine the Lebanese banking sector after Lebanese banks began complying with a U.S. sanctions law targeting Hezbollah's finances.The Progressive Socialist Party leader called for a halt to verbal attacks on Central Bank Gov. Riad Salameh who has come under fire by Hezbollah for abiding by the U.S. sanctions against the party's finances.Earlier in the day, Jumblatt voiced support for Salameh in the face of a sustained Hezbollah campaign against him for complying with the U.S. sanctions legislation.Jumblatt's remarks came three days after Hezbollah slammed Salameh for his position on U.S. regulations targeting the party's finances.The strongly worded statement by Hezbollah, which is viewed by Washington as a terrorist group, was apparently triggered by Salameh's recent interview with the CNBC network in which he said that 100 Hezbollah-related accounts had already been frozen based on the list of the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea also linked the bombing outside BLOM Bank to the U.S. sanctions on Hezbollah. Geagea also defended Salameh in the face of the Hezbollah campaign.
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