BEIRUT — A gunman opened fire at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon early Wednesday and was shot and wounded by Lebanese troops, the country’s army said in a statement.

The embassy, in a post on X, said that at 8:34 a.m., “small arms fire was reported in the vicinity of the entrance” to the mission. It added that the “facility and our team are safe.”

Amateur footage carried by local media showed the gunman, clad in a black vest with ammunition pouches and jeans and carrying an assault rifle, walking near the embassy before opening fire at an approaching army vehicle. Sounds of intensive shooting soon followed before the assailant was stopped.

The army statement identified the shooter as a Syrian national and said he was taken into custody and hospitalized. An army spokesman said the motive for the attack was unknown.

U.S. missions throughout the Middle East have been on high alert throughout the war in Gaza, including in Lebanon, where protesters have voiced anger at the Biden administration’s stalwart backing for Israel’s military. In October, protesters set fire to a building near the embassy, in the hilly Awkar suburb of Beirut.

The embassy was moved from its location inside the capital after 1983, when a suicide bomber attacked the mission, killing 63 people.

Roads around the embassy were briefly closed Wednesday after the shooting, state media reported. Prime Minister Najib Mikati, in a statement carried by the state news agency, said “intensive investigations” were underway to “arrest all those involved.”

The statement added that U.S. Ambassador Lisa A. Johnson, was outside of Lebanon when the attack occurred.



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