Deadly bomb blast rocks Beirut, Lebanon
Transcription of today's U.S. State Department press briefing, comments as they relate to the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon:
VICTORIA NULAND, U.S. State Department: Well, first of all we condemn in the strongest terms this apparent act of terrorism that took place today in Beirut’s Achrafieh neighborhood. There is no justification for such violence. The Government of Lebanon is obviously going to have to conduct an investigation, and you are right, Matt, that we do not yet have details either on who the perpetrators were. We do know that our Embassy personnel are all accounted for. We also don’t have any reports at this stage of American citizens having been victims. We obviously express our heartfelt sympathies for the families and the loved ones of those who were killed and injured, and we stand by the people of Lebanon and renew our commitment to a stable, sovereign, and independent Lebanon.
With regard to your -
QUESTION: Well, wait - before - just before you go to the second part of the question, you condemn this "apparent" act of terrorism?
MS. NULAND: Well, it -
QUESTION: So, I mean, I’m just curious. Is there a reason -
MS. NULAND: It was a car bomb. We have no reason to believe it wasn’t terrorism, but obviously the Lebanese -
QUESTION: Do you want to say that - do you want to change your - what you said to say, "We condemn this act of terrorism" rather than "apparent act of terrorism?"
MS. NULAND: Look, again - yes, we condemn this act of terrorism. You are right; there is no justification for the word "apparent" in this sentence.
[Source: U.S. State Department transcript]
EAST OF MOSUL/BAGHDAD, Iraq An elite unit of the Iraqi army paused its week-long advance on Mosul as it approached the city's eastern edge on Tuesday, waiting for other U.S.-backed forces to close in on Islamic State's last major urban stronghold in Iraq.