A father's split-second heroism saved countless lives in another terror attack, in Beirut

GlobalPost
The wife of Adel Termos, who was killed in a twin bombing attack that rocked a busy shopping street in the area of Burj al-Barajneh in Beirut's southern suburb, mourns during his funeral in the village of Tallussa in southern Lebanon on November 13, 2015.
Mahmoud Zayyat

Adel Termos, a Beirut resident out with his young daughter, witnessed a horrific bombing on Thursday. Then he made a split-second decision that saved countless lives. 

As a second suicide bomber moved toward onlookers clustering at the scene of the explosion, Termos rushed the suspect. 

"He tackled him to the ground, causing the second suicide bomber to detonate," says blogger and physician Elie Fares, who lives in Beirut. "There are many many families, hundreds of families probably, who owe their completeness to his sacrifice."

More from GlobalPost: Southern Beirut residents are dazed but defiant after Islamic State bombings

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the twin suicide bombings that took an estimated 45 lives, including Termos. More than 200 people were wounded. It's not clear, however, whether the daughter died. Pictures posted recently seem to suggest she survived.

Fares says when similar bombings occurred in Beirut in years past, Lebanese were quick to view the events through the prism of sectarian politics. 

"The street is still divided by political and sectarian lines, but this time around the sense is that these are people, period," Fares says. "They're dead because of something they had absolutely no role in ... They died because of some demented, twisted politics."

Fares says it would be wrong to call the victims martyrs.  

"Calling them martyrs is a sort of Lebanese way to not only dehumanize them, it's to sort of make ourselves feel better that, yeah, it's okay, they died, but they're martyrs which means they're in heaven and they're in a better place," he says. "But the fact of the matter is it's just sort of a label to make ourselves feel better, and maybe their families feel better because the label of 'victim' means there's a sort of accountability to the process." 

The two blasts hit during the evening rush hour, and devastated a commercial strip of southern Beirut.

Lebanon shares a border with Syria and hosts more than one million refugees from throughout the region. 

This story was cross-posted from our partners at PRI's The World.