Inmate's suicide bomber ties brings security sweep to Lebanese prison

Investigation showed that some had exchanged calls with a man who later conducted a suicide bombing that killed 9


By Diaa Hadid
Associated Press

BEIRUT — Lebanese forces transferred detainees inside a notorious prison Monday amid heavy security after an investigation showed that some had exchanged calls with a man who later conducted a suicide bombing that killed nine people, said an official.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not offer further information. Lebanon's state-run news agency said some prisoners burned their mattresses to protest Monday's transfers in the overcrowded Roumieh prison that holds suspected militants.

But the transfers appeared dramatic enough to warrant an unusual show of force. Local television showed helicopters hovering above the institution near Beirut, as vehicles and ambulances entered and left.

The suicide bomber killed nine people in a coffee shop on Saturday. It was part of a series of suicide bombings and raids that have plagued parts of Lebanon, related to the war in neighboring Syria.

Syria's al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front claimed responsibility on Twitter for the blast in Tripoli's predominantly Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen, saying it was a twin suicide attack.

But Lebanon's interior minister has said that they are investigating whether a rival jihadi group, the Islamic State, conducted the attack.

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