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Lebanon Marks 25th Anniversary of US Embassy Bombing in Beirut


Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Embassy bombing in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, that killed 52 people.

U.S. envoy David Welch, who was a desk officer for Lebanon at the State Department at the time of the attack, attended a memorial ceremony in Beirut Friday. He recalled that - at the time - it was the most deadly terrorist attack against the United States.

Around lunchtime local time, April 18, 1983, terrorists drove a delivery truck right up next to the American Embassy and detonated it. The whole front of the building was destroyed.

The White House has blamed the attack on a terrorist group - the Islamic Jihad Organization - that would later become Hezbollah.

In a statement issued on the eve of the anniversary, President Bush accused Iran and Syria of undermining democracy in Lebanon by supporting terrorist groups such as Hezbollah.

Mr. Bush also praised the people of Lebanon and their leaders for working for a peaceful future, despite the threat of violence and assassination.

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