BEIRUT: Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati denounced the deadly suicide car bomb attack in the northeastern town of Hermel Saturday, appealing to Lebanese to unite in the face of rising terrorism.
"Once again, the hands of terror have targeted a Lebanese area and indulged in their crime against innocent civilians,” Mikati said in a statement.
“We can only reiterate our appeal to everyone to unite their ranks to protect the country and its people,” he added.
A suicide car bombing killed at least four people, including the bomber, and wounded dozens in Hermel, a city in the northeast where Hezbollah enjoys wide support.
Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam, for his part, described the attack as a “terrorist act" of cowardice.
"[I] urge Hermel residents to exercise self-restraint despite their deep pains,” Salam said in a statement.
"This terrorist attack should be an incentive to unite, prevent strife, and show support to the Army and the security forces,” he said.
He also called on security forces to exert all efforts to search and bring to justice the perpetrators.
The Amal Movement also condemned the Hermel blast and called for the formation of a Cabinet capable of confronting terrorist groups attacking Lebanon.
“The organized terrorism moving from one area to another requires everyone to be alert that the gaps in Lebanon’s security should be closed,” the party said in a statement, adding that “takfiri groups are using such gaps to practice their terrorism in Lebanon.”
The statement also said all political forces should unite “to form a new government that ensures political cover and support is granted to the Army to confront such terrorist groups.”
U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly also deplored the attack and extended his condolences to the families of the victims.
In a statement, the U.N. official also called on the Lebanese to “rally around their state institutions, including the army and security forces, as the best means to confront such unacceptable and indiscriminate terrorist actions and to safeguard their country's security and stability.”
He also expressed hope those behind the attack in Hermel as well as previous ones be brought to justice as soon as possible.
Saturday’s attack is the second in the northeastern town in more than two weeks after a suspected suicide car bomb killed five people on Jan. 16.
A series of car bombs have also struck several Lebanese areas in the past few months.
Most of the bombings have been claimed by radical rebel groups fighting in Syria. They have pledged to continue their attacks until Hezbollah pulls out its fighters from neighboring Syria.