BosNewsLife – A well-known Christian anchor woman of the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) was seriously injured when a bomb placed under her car exploded Sunday, September 25, in the Christian port city of Jounieh , northeast of Beirut , the network said.
May Chidiac, who works at the station, was in the hospital for emergency treatment.
The blast was expected to add to anxiety within the Lebanese Christian community which has been the target of several bomb attacks, some of them deadly, in recent weeks and months. “The bombs are not only in commercial areas but go all the way up to residential areas. People are really getting scared,” said LBC journalist Tania Mehanna in an interview.
Commentators looking at television footage said it was a miracle that she survived the blast. Security forces could be seen taking up position around the car wreckage. Lebanon ‘s Prime Minister Michel Aoun was reportedly on his way to the hospital where Chidiac received emergency treatment. LBC said her left leg was amputated.
“May Chidiak was seriously wounded and taken to hospital,” her colleague Bassam Abu Zaid reportedly said on television, adding that her arms and legs had been badly injured. A series of explosions has rocked Lebanon since the February killing of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri threw the country into its worst crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war. The United Nations is under pressure to speed up its criminal investigation in the region, amid allegations that the same people responsible for the killing of the prime minister were also involved in Sunday’s and other blasts.
Critics say the bombings are supported by Syria , whose troops were forced to withdraw from Lebanon this year after three decades. The Syrian government has strongly denied any involvement in the bomb attacks that have rocked especially Christian districts of Beirut and other towns. No group immediately claimed responsibility for Sunday’s blast.
LBC is a Christian-owned channel that has been seen as among the most prominent media outlets critical of Damascus ‘s tutelage over its tiny neighbor since the war. Chidiac also hosts a daily political talk show at the station, which broadcasts in Lebanon and is widely seen in the Arab world and by Lebanese communities across the world. Before the explosion she hosted a program critical to Syria , several journalists said.
Chidiac was among the relative few women in Journalism and was seen as part of a new generation of critical journalists in a crucial era for Lebanon which was still under the control of Syria for the last 15 years, even after the civil war officially ended. She was the latest victim in attacks against opinion makers. An anti-Syrian journalist and Christian, Samir Kassir, 45, was killed in June and an explosion wounded pro-Syrian defense minister Elias Murr in July.
“Apparently her comments worried some fractions in Lebanon . We were hoping that journalist Samir would be the last to have been killed,” said LBC’s Mehanna, who urged better protection for prominent (Christian) journalists and opinion makers.
“She is wellknown for supporting the opposition. People should respect different opinions, and they can express it in air or print. But to get rid of somebody because of her or his opinion is not the way,” Mehanna stressed. “Our cars were always searched before we enter [the LBC complex] but apparently that was not enough [protection],” she added.
The explosion came a little over a week after at least one person died and 23 were injured when a powerful bomb rocked a mainly Christian residential area of Beirut [Go To Full Story]