News / USA

Obama Mourns Marines Killed in 1983 Beirut Attack

FILE - This Sunday, Oct. 23, 1983, file photo, shows the scene at the U.S. Marine base near Beirut airport, Lebanon, following a suicide truck blast that destroyed the base and caused a huge death toll.FILE - This Sunday, Oct. 23, 1983, file photo, shows the scene at the U.S. Marine base near Beirut airport, Lebanon, following a suicide truck blast that destroyed the base and caused a huge death toll.
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FILE - This Sunday, Oct. 23, 1983, file photo, shows the scene at the U.S. Marine base near Beirut airport, Lebanon, following a suicide truck blast that destroyed the base and caused a huge death toll.
FILE - This Sunday, Oct. 23, 1983, file photo, shows the scene at the U.S. Marine base near Beirut airport, Lebanon, following a suicide truck blast that destroyed the base and caused a huge death toll.
VOA News
Wednesday marks the 30th anniversary of the suicide bombing that killed 241 Americans at the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.

A devastating truck-bomb explosion killed 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers - all part of a multinational force trying to end the Lebanese civil war - on October 23, 1983.

U.S. President Barack Obama denounced the bombing, which has been attributed to Hezbollah, and mourned the terrorists' victims in a statement Wednesday.

Obama said the "despicable act of terrorism" marked the deadliest single-day toll for U.S. Marines since the World War II battle of Iwo Jima.

He paid tribute to those killed and honored the "courage and bravery" of the those who spent days digging victims out of the rubble.

Less than an hour after the attack on the U.S. base, another suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside the French barracks in Lebanon, killing 58 paratroopers.

  • FILE - U.S. Marines and an Italian soldier, right, dig through the rubble of the the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 23, 1983.
  • FILE - Rescuers continue to probe the wreckage of the U.S. Marine barracks after a suicide truck bomb near Beirut airport, Lebanon, Oct. 23, 1983.
  • FILE - British soldiers help in rescue operations at the site of the bomb-wrecked U.S. Marine command center near the Beirut airport, Lebanon, Oct. 23, 1983.
  • FILE - An injured service member is carried on a stretcher after a suicide truck bomb struck the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 23, 1983.
  • FILE - Rescue workers are shown carrying the body of a U.S. Marine killed by the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 24, 1983.
  • FILE - Then U.S. Vice President George Bush, center, wearing a flak jacket and steel helmet, is briefed at the site of a suicide truck bomb attack on the U.S. Marine barracks, near Beirut airport, Lebanon, Oct. 26, 1983.

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