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09/04/03 . n/a . AFP . Lebanon
Lebanon says Islamic fundamentalists attacked McDonald's
BEIRUT (AFP) - Lebanese Islamic fundamentalists carried out Saturday's dynamite blast in a crowded McDonald's restaurant that injured three people, and other similar attacks, Information Minister Elias Murr said, announcing five arrests.
"We have succeeded in putting our hands on the ring which carried out the attack on a McDonald's and other restaurants belonging to American companies," he said.
"We have already arrested five Lebanese who have admitted being fundamentalists and investigations are under way to catch the other members of the ring and the instigators," he told journalists.
Murr said weapons, including an anti-tank rocket, had been found at the home of one of the suspects, who said rocket attacks were planned on US and British interests in Lebanon.
He warned that the authorities would crack down with an iron hand on anyone attempting to disturb public order.
Three people, including a young girl, were lightly wounded when a stick of dynamite exploded in a washroom at the McDonald's restaurant in Dora, a Christian suburb of the Lebanese capital, during Saturday's mid-afternoon rush.
At the same time there was an explosion inside a car parked in front of the restaurant. The vehicle's rear window shattered in the blast, but the bomb apparently malfunctioned in the car, which was packed with 55 kilograms (120 pounds) of explosives.
There have been several attacks against US fast food outlets throughout Lebanon since the start of March, but this was the first daylight one.
Lebanese soldiers close the gates leading to the American chain
McDonald's restaurant in Dora, a suburb of Beirut(AFP/File/Suhaila Sahmarani)