Residents and storeowners in Sad al-Bouchrieh appeared numb on Tuesday as they began the increasingly familiar routine of clearing away debris as quickly as possible in order to resume their normal lives after Monday night’s bomb blast. The bomb, the fourth in Beirut since May 20, exploded near the Abdel Massih Center next to Mar Takla Church,
wounding 13 and causing severe damage to dozens of businesses in the Christian neighborhood.
Military Prosecutor Jean Fahd filed charges on Tuesday against the unknown
perpetrators of the explosion, adding that a guilty verdict could lead to a death sentence.
He reassigned the case to Military Investigative Magistrate Rasheed Mezher. Judicial
reports said no one has been arrested in connection with the explosion.
Dozens of residents, business owners, families and friends picked up brooms and
other tools in an effort to clean up and open shop again. Only the shell of the bus – behind which the bomb had been placed – remained at the site. The rest of the vehicle has been swept away, along with smashed cars and other debris from the commercial center. Every window in the six-story center was shattered.
“Everybody rushed to help as soon as it was clear to come through,” said Carlos
Mbarak, whose sister owns a beauty parlor in the row of shops on the ground floor of the Abdel Massih Center. “There is nothing else to do but that.
“This is not the first time [an explosion] happened here, and it is not the first time it has happened in Lebanon, so the only thing we can do is continue with our normal lives,” he said.
Nonetheless, he added, “we are just fed up with it all.”