Borisov, Mikati Deny Meeting over 'Bulgarian' Explosives in Lebanese Terror Attack
Lebanese PM Najib Mikati (left) during his joint news conference with Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov in Sofia. Photo by BGNES
The Prime Ministers of Bulgaria and Lebanon, Boyko Borisov and Najib Mikati, have denied that their Monday's meeting in Sofia was caused by investigators' conclusion that Bulgarian-made explosives were used in a recent terrorist attack in Beirut.
The explosives that were used to blow up Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, the intelligence chief of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces, in Beirut's recent terrorist attack, were produced in Bulgaria, Lebanese media reported at the end of last week.
"Bulgaria and Lebanon have great relations, and the visit of the Lebanese Prime Minister to Bulgaria was planned a long time ago," Bulgarian PM Borisov told reporters in Sofia during his joint news conference with Najib Mikati.
Borisov further alleged that Mikati's visit was not brought about by the conclusion of the Lebanese investigators about Bulgarian-made explosives used in the blast in Beirut.
The two Prime Ministers have had a tete-a-tete meeting but it remained unclear whether the Beirut terrorist attack and the origin of the explosives were discussed.
The Lebanese investigators are reported to have found that the explosives originated in Bulgaria, and intended to contact the Bulgarian authorities and the labs that produced them.
According to the investigators, the respective type of explosives has been used for the first time for a terrorist attack in the Beirut blast.
They are said to have exploded in small parts tearing everything up, which is why Lebanon's Internal Security Forces were unable to identify Gen. Wissam al-Hassan's distorted body for three hours after the blast.
Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, the intelligence chief of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces, and seven others were killed in the explosion on October 19, 2012, which occurred in Ashrafiya, a predominantly Christian district in East Beirut.
More than 80 others were injured. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, the first car bombing in Beirut in four years.
Hassan was close to former Lebanese prime minister and current opposition leader Saad Hariri, who was quick to blame Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime for the bombing.
Last August Hassan uncovered a terror conspiracy that ultimately led to the arrest of a pro-Syrian politician and former Lebanese minister, Michel Samaha.
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