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Top Marine, survivors remember 1983 Beirut blast

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ALLEN BREED
Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, NC (AP) -- The Marine Corps' top general says the deadly Beirut barracks bombing 30 years ago helped define the start of America's war against terrorists.

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos and survivors gathered Wednesday at a memorial bordering Camp Lejeune honoring the victims of the bombing. Before Sept. 11, it was the deadliest terrorist attack on Americans.

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

The troops had been deployed to keep peace during Lebanon's civil war. Amos says the bombing and the attack on the US Embassy six months earlier signaled the start of a new kind of war.

A suicide bomber drove a truck full of explosives into the military barracks. A US investigation afterward blamed lax security.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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