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Beirut Barracks (1983)

  • By: Allan S. Boyce
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

At 6:20 AM on October 23, 1983, a terrorist driving an explosive-filled dump truck crashed through security checkpoints of U.S. Marine peacekeepers in Beirut, Lebanon, and rammed the headquarters building of the Marine Battalion Landing Team (BLT) before detonating his bomb. A similar attack occurred a few minutes later at the compound of French peacekeepers. The 12,000-pound, TNT-equivalent explosion at the Marine compound was the largest ever investigated by the FBI forensics lab. The resulting blast imploded the four-story concrete block building where over 350 U.S. servicemen slept. The two attacks killed 241 American military personnel and 58 French paratroopers, and injured hundreds more—the highest loss of life until the 2007 Yazidi community bombings in Iraq. Studies of the Beirut Barracks and subsequent ...

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