April 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing

From Academic Kids

The April 18, 1983, suicide bombing of the United States Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon was the deadliest attack on a US diplomatic mission to that time, and is seen by some as marking the beginning of anti-US attacks by Islamist groups.

The attack was made by a delivery van driven by a suicide bomber, carrying about 400 pounds of explosives drove up to the embassy. It parked under the portico at the very front of the building, where it exploded. The front section of the embassy collapsed, killing 63 people. Seventeen of these were Americans, and eight of them worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. More than a hundred others were wounded.

The attack was motivated by the American intervention in the Lebanese Civil War. In the aftermath of the massacre of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps by Lebanese Christian militiamen backed by nearby Israeli army units, American troops had landed to try and restore order and central government authority to the war ravaged country. Many groups within Lebanon were opposed to the American presence but the militant group Hezbollah, under the code name "Islamic Jihad", is believed to have been responsible for the attacks.

Along with the Marine Barracks Bombing, the incident prompted the Inman Report, a review of overseas security for the US Department of State.

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