BEIRUT,Lebanon – A bomb exploded near police barracks in Beirut Sunday night, the latest in a series of attacks targeting police in the Lebanese capital, security officials said.
No one was hurt and there was little damage from the explosion near the police station in Tarik Jdeideh, a predominantly Sunni Muslim neighborhood in West Beirut, the Lebanese security officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
The officials said two men on a speeding motorcycle threw an explosive charge at a parking lot near the police station, damaging a number of parked vehicles.
It was the third explosion targeting Lebanese police and the sixth blast to have rocked Beirut in recent weeks.
A rifle-fired grenade hit the Helou barracks, a major police compound in West Beirut on Wednesday, causing damage but no casualties. The same barracks had previously been targeted in a similar grenade attack.
Another Beirut police station and a downtown building near U.N. offices were also hit in similar attacks last month, which injured six people. Another explosion on a street leading to the residence of the Saudi ambassador last month caused no casualties.
Lebanon's government had blamed those attacks on unknown elements aiming to destabilize the security situation after last summer's Israel-Hezbollah war. Since the fighting ended Aug. 14, tensions have increased between Hezbollah and its pro-Syrian allies, and the western-backed Lebanese government's anti-Syrian majority.
Sunday's explosion occurred on the eve of a new round of talks by rival Lebanese factions to avert a showdown between Hezbollah and the government. All major political factions were due to take part in talks Monday convened by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
A Hezbollah ally, Berri has proposed that the talks focus on the formation of a "national unity" government and a new electoral law.
Earlier this week, Hezbollah, which has two ministers in the coalition Cabinet, threatened to call mass demonstrations unless Prime Minister Fuad Saniora recast his government to give the militant group and its allies a veto on key decisions.
The United States has expressed concern over what it called mounting evidence that Syria and Iran were joining with Hezbollah in an attempt to topple the Lebanese government.
Last year, much larger bombings targeted anti-Syrian figures and commercial centers in Christian areas, killing two prominent anti-Syrian journalists and a politician. The largest explosion was in February 2005, killing former Premier Rafik Hariri and 22 others in central Beirut.
Anti-Syrian groups have accused Damascus of orchestrating the bombings, charges Syria denies. Syria was forced to withdraw its army from Lebanon last year after Hariri's assassination triggered mass street protests and an international outcry.