TRIPOLI, Lebanon: EU Ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst visited the sites of deadly bombings in the Beirut southern suburbs and Tripoli Wednesday and said mounting violence would only widen divisions among the Lebanese.
Eichhorst visited the neighborhood of Ruwaiss in Beirut’s southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold, where 30 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in a car bomb attack on Aug. 15.
She also paid a visit to Al-Salam Mosque, one of two mosques in Tripoli targeted by a twin bomb attack that claimed the lives of at least 47 people and wounded scores of others last week.
The EU official met the wounded at the Islamic Hospital in Tripoli and extended condolences to families of the victims.
“Increased violence will only deepen divisions at a time when the Lebanese need to stand together against violence, support each other and to choose dialogue,” Eichhorst said, urging Lebanese to act wisely to maintain peace and security in Lebanon, according to a statement by the EU delegation in Lebanon.
Separately, a delegation from the Kataeb party visited Ruwaiss as well. The delegation was headed by Nicole Gemayel, the daughter of the party’s leader Amin Gemayel. She was accompanied by members of the Municipal Council of Bikfaya and the municipalities of nearby villages in Metn.
The delegation’s first stop was at the Mount Lebanon office of the Amal Movement, where it was received by Amal media official Talal Hatoum and other officials.
The Kataeb officials, accompanied by members of Hezbollah and Amal, then moved to the blast site in Ruwaiss, where they were briefed on reconstruction efforts in the site. The delegation laid a wreath in honor of martyrs.
“Terrorism cannot differentiate between the Lebanese, who should confront it with such unity,” Gemayel said. “The martyrs of Ruwaiss are the martyrs of all Lebanon.”
For his part, Baabda MP Bilal Farhat, from Hezbollah, praised how the Lebanese were jointly assuming responsibility in confronting aggression against civilians in the southern suburbs and Tripoli.
“This is a brutal act. This was expressed by all, through wide-scale condemnation, which we hope will be translated into the formation of a Cabinet” that includes members of all political factions, he said.
The Kataeb delegation then visited the bombing sites in Tripoli, where it laid wreaths and met with Tripoli MP Samir Jisr and Ashraf Rifi, the former head of the Internal Security Forces.
In another show of solidarity, Jbeil Mayor Ziad Hawwat and members of the city’s municipality visited the municipality of Tripoli, where they were received by Nader Ghazal, the mayor of the city.
“We are here to condemn this horrible aggression, which targeted all Lebanon,” Hawwat said. “Any martyr that falls in Tripoli, Beirut or its southern suburbs is the martyr of all Lebanon,” he added.
Hawwat announced that in order to affirm coexistence between Jbeil and Tripoli, Jbeil’s municipality would hold a festival in Tripoli to highlight that Lebanon’s second city “will remain the city of life and coexistence.”
Later, the delegation and Ghazal visited the sites of the two explosions.