Lebanese army troops cordon off the area around the Elissa Queen Hotel
Lebanese army troops cordon off the area around the Elissa Queen Hotel on the seafront of the southern Lebanese port of Tyre, following a blast targeting the hotel's nightclub, a favourite with UN peacekeepers deployed in the south. Two bombs targeting a nightclub and a liquor store exploded early Wednesday in Tyre, one of the few areas of the conservative south where alcohol is available. © Mahmoud Zayyat - AFP
Lebanese army troops cordon off the area around the Elissa Queen Hotel
AFP
Last updated: November 16, 2011

Blasts target nightclub and alcohol shop in south Lebanon

Two bombs targeting a nightclub and a liquor store exploded early Wednesday in the Lebanese city of Tyre, one of the few areas of the conservative south where alcohol is available.

There were no casualties in the 5:00 am (0300 GMT) blasts but they caused severe damage to property, a security official told AFP.

The army cordoned off the area and launched an investigation.

One of the bombs targeted the Elissa Queen Hotel on the seafront of the scenic Mediterranean coastal town. The hotel and nearby buildings were immediately evacuated.

The hotel nightclub is a favourite with UN peacekeepers deployed in south Lebanon, an AFP correspondent in the town said.

The second bomb struck a shop selling alcohol in the Christian quarters of Tyre, a multi-confessional city especially popular with tourists during the summer season.

A string of liquor stores in south Lebanon were forced to close this year in the face of a campaign to rid the south of alcohol.

Alcohol is widely available in multi-confessional Lebanon, which is considered the most liberal country in the Arab world.

It is banned, however, in areas under the control of Shiite militant group Hezbollah and radical Sunni movements.

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