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Syria says ready to help Lebanon fight terrorism

A general view of the site of the explosion in the Beirut neighborhood of Bir Hasan, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Syria is ready to work with Lebanon to fight terrorism, a statement from the Syrian Interior Ministry said, citing recent bombings in Lebanon.

“The ministry is prepared to cooperate with the Lebanese Interior Ministry on counter-terrorism measures, pursuing terrorists and intercepting criminal tools aimed at targeting the stability of Lebanon and Syria,” said a statement published late Thursday by Syria’s state news agency SANA.

“The ministry is also ready to offer anything within its means to thwart the terrorist attacks that target the security and safety of the brotherly Syrian and Lebanese people.”

The statement follows Wednesday's twin suicide bombings targeting the Iranian Cultural Center in Beirut’s Bir Hassan, killing eleven people and wounding 128 in the latest of a series of attacks targeting predominantly-Shiite areas strongly associated with Hezbollah.

The bombings were claimed by the al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which cited Iran and Hezbollah's military role in Syria.

The group previously claimed several of the attacks in Lebanon, asking for the withdrawal of Hezbollah from Syria and for the release of Islamist detainees in Lebanon prisons.

 

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