BEIRUT

Lebanon News

U.S., Iran, Saudi Arabia condemn Beirut blast

An armed man is seen at the site of the explosion in Haret Hreik, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: The United States, Saudi Arabia and Iran condemned in separate statements Thursday’s deadly bombing that targeted Beirut’s southern suburbs.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry described the blast in Haret Hreik, a neighborhood of the Beirut suburb, as a “terrorist attack” and said the Lebanese people would confront the “Zionist [Israeli] plot” in their country.

“The resistant Lebanese people along with their wise leaders have always prevented the plots of the Zionist regime and they will do the same this time too,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marziyeh Afkham said, according to Iranian news agency IRNA.

“Lebanon, both the people and government, will surely take vigilant steps to cut the hands of those attacking the country’s security and stability and national unity,” she said.

A car bomb exploded in the neighborhood of Haret Hreik in the southern suburb of Beirut on Thursday, leaving at least five killed and more than 70 people wounded.

Riyadh also condemned the attack, describing it as a “criminal act,” and offered its condolences to the families of the victims.

“Terrorism is the same everywhere and the most effective way to counter it is to build a Lebanese national understanding,” Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri said in a statement Friday.

For its part, U.S. State Department Deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said her government “condemns in the strongest terms [Thursday’s] terrorist bombing in the Haret Hreik region of southern Beirut.”

She urged Lebanese parties to “refrain from retaliatory acts that would further escalate tensions and threaten Lebanon’s stability and the lives and livelihoods of the Lebanese people.”

“The Lebanese people must be allowed to carry on their lives free from fear of attacks,” Harf said in a statement.

 

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