Friday, August 23, 2013
Bombs in Tripoli (N-Lebanon) kill at least 42 people
The damage inside one of the mosques in Tripoli. (Photo: The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
Two car bombs outside mosques in the north Lebanese city of Tripoli following Friday prayers killed at least 42 people and wounded more than 400, security sources said.The two afternoon blasts, one outside the Taqwa Mosque that was soon followed by another outside the Salam Mosque as hundreds of worshipers finished Friday prayers, highlighted the deteriorating security situation in Tripoli, the scene of repeated bouts of clashes linked to the war in Syria. In both mosques the sermons were delivered by Salafist preachers. Sheikh Salem al-Rafei in the Taqwa mosque, sheikh Bilal Baroudi in the Salam mosque.Both are staunch opponents of Syrian president Assad.
The violence in Tripoli comes eight days after a car bomb killed 30 people and wounded over 300 in the Ruwaiss area of the southern suburb of Beirut, which is 'Hezbollah-territory'. Hezbollah has accused 'regional intelligence services' of being behind these last attacks, with which the party was referring to Saudi-Arabia, according to the paper Al-Akhbar.
The statement from Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc on Thursday, August 22, did not take on the usual diplomatic tone, Al-Akhbar said, as it openly accused local and regional elements. "This terrorist blast was engineered by regional intelligence services that are benefiting from the policies of incitement adopted by some March 14 factions,” the statement read. “These groups are investing in terrorist takfiri organizations to carry out their plans.” The “catastrophic failure of these takfiri groups to achieve the goals set out for them in Syria ... has forced their handlers to use them inside Lebanon instead, in order to compensate for their losses elsewhere.”
The statement remarkably does not accuse the usual suspect in such acts – the Zionist enemy – but points the finger in the direction of Saudi Arabia and its chief of intelligence, Bandar bin Sultan. Sources close to Hezbollah go so far as to say, “There is a clear Saudi decision, backed by the US, to stir things up from Baghdad to Beirut.”