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Lebanon: Bomb Explodes in 2 American Fast-Food Restaurants - 2002-05-09

A bomb has ripped through two American fast-food restaurants in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli. Police are trying to determine if the motive was part of a campaign to boycott American products throughout the Middle East.

The blast occurred at four o'clock in the morning at the entrance of a building that houses Kentucky Fried Chicken and Hardee's hamburger chain. No one was injured in the explosion, but a worker later was cut by falling glass during the clean-up operation.

Police say the bomb contained about three pounds of TNT and caused extensive damage to the building and several parked cars.

Police say they do not know the motive for the attack but they are investigating possible links between the bombing and a regional campaign to boycott American products in response to perceived U.S. support of Israel in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

For the past several months, owners of U.S. fast-food restaurants have published advertisements in newspapers denying rumors that a portion of their revenues is being used to aid Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians.

Last month, during a violent pro-Palestinian demonstration in Cairo, several American businesses, including a Kentucky Fried Chicken, were destroyed by demonstrators.

The stores are operated by a Kuwait-based food distribution and retail company that also has franchises for Pizza Hut, TGI Friday's, and Baskin Robbins ice cream.