BEIRUT — Baalbeck-Hermel governor Bashir Khodr denied allegations Monday of a terrorist plan to blow up the Baalbeck temple complex.
Annahar newspaper reported Monday that a security authority received a "dangerous security report" claiming "there is a plan by terrorist fundamentalist groups to blow up the columns of Baalbeck's temple ... to send a direct message to Hezbollah."
Khodr denied the report, writing on X (formerly Twitter) that the objective of such news is to intimidate tourists. "This news is false and baseless and the reason behind it is the resounding success of the tourist season in Baalbeck this year and the large numbers of tourists, especially foreigners," Khodr said.
Contacted by L'Orient Today, a Lebanese Army source said he did not have information about the report.
Later on Monday, caretaker Culture Minister Mohamed Mortada also commented on the report via X: "Regardless of whether it is true or not, the pillars of Jupiter remain a beacon and a symbol of civilization ... and therefore it is not unlikely that our enemies might have the idea of targeting [the pillars] with their dark, ignorant tools."
"In all cases, we reassure the Lebanese people that Baalbeck and its temple are protected," he added.