Lebanon News

Families of bombing victims blame Israel for attack

Relatives carry the body of Hamad Meqdad during his funeral procession in Ruwaiss, Friday, Aug. 16, 2013. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

HARET HREIK, Lebanon: Hundreds of people attended the funeral of car bomb victim Hamad Moqdad Friday afternoon, one of the many casualties from the deadly explosion which ripped through Beirut’s southern suburbs the previous day.

The funeral procession took place on Moqdad Street in the neighborhood of Ruweiss and was attended by members of the Moqdad family as well as numerous acquaintances and area residents.

The car bomb exploded in the Beirut southern suburb, leaving at least 24 people confirmed dead and at least 300 wounded.

Maher Moqdad, a relative of the deceased who was convicted on charges of forming an armed terrorist group, was also present at the funeral. He was released on bail in January.

A number of men fired shots into the air during the procession and women threw rice and rose petals over the body of the deceased while carrying his portrait. Young boys wore T-shirts imprinted with the victim’s face.

After the burial at Raduf Cemetery, a large table was laid out on Moqdad Street with food and desserts, as relatives and friends received condolences.

The 40-year-old Moqdad, who was married but had no children, was helping evacuate the wounded at the scene of the blast when he was killed, according to his paternal cousin, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“He was aiding the wounded when electric cables fell on him and killed him,” he said. “[The blast] was the work of the Israeli enemy. It was carried out by local hands, but the Israelis are its instigators.”

He played down a claim of responsibility by a group calling itself “Regiment of Aisha, Mother of the Faithful,” saying it aimed to incite strife between Sunnis and Shiites.

The bombing occurred on the eve of Hezbollah’s annual celebration of the end of the July 2006 war between Lebanon and Israel, which Moqdad’s cousin said was a clear indication that the Jewish state was behind the blast.

Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah had also claimed, a day before the bombing, that his party was responsible for wounding four Israeli soldiers who crossed into Lebanon last week.

Hala Moqdad, the victim’s grief-stricken sister, said it was a shame her brother had died the way he did.

“We’ve lost a good man,” she said, wailing and crying. “He was martyred doing good work.”

Separately, Hezbollah members and residents of the Sidon town of Ghassanieh held a funeral for Daoud Suleiman Hodroj. The procession was attended by Hezbollah MP Ali Ammar, with Sheikh Mohammad Kawtharani, a member of Hezbollah’s political bureau, leading prayers.

The Communist Party held a funeral procession for Afif Said Daher, another victim of the bombing, in the town of Kfar Roummane in Nabatieh. The funeral was attended by Nabatieh MP Abdel-Latif Zein, the Communist Party’s secretary-general, Khaled Hadadeh, and head of the Union Coordination Committee, Hanna Gharib.

“The terrorist blast in Beirut’s southern suburbs is retaliation for the resistance’s victory against the Zionist enemy, and an attempt at robbing the Lebanese of their victory,” Hadadeh said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 17, 2013, on page 2.




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