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Top Marine general, survivors recall 1983 Beirut bombing as early chapter in war on terrorism

The Marine Corps' top general and survivors are gathering to mark 30 years since the deadly Beirut barracks bombing that many consider the opening blast in America's war against terrorists.

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos will speak Wednesday at a memorial bordering Camp Lejeune that honors the deadliest terrorist attack on Americans prior to Sept. 11, 2001.

Many of the 241 Americans killed on Oct. 23, 1983, were members of Camp Lejeune's 24th Marine Amphibious Unit.

A suicide truck-bomber attacked the military barracks in Lebanon's capital that was home to a U.S. peacekeeping force. A U.S. investigation blamed lax security for allowing the terrorist to get into the Marines' compound.

The bombing was blamed on the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran.