Lebanon News

Local and foreign officials condemn suicide bombing

A general view of the site of explosion in Tayyouneh, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Lebanese politicians and foreign officials Tuesday condemned the suicide bombing that killed one and wounded 25 in a southern suburb of Beirut, the second such attack in less than a week.

Hezbollah, whose party headquarters is located in the oft-targeted suburbs south of Beirut, issued a statement condemning “this cowardly action and whoever is responsible for it,” adding that the party “hails the recent achievements by the relevant military and security forces, calling on them to keep up their blessed efforts in order to topple the criminal conspiracies and plans against Lebanon.”

Prime Minister Tamman Salam blasted the attacks in a statement, saying “the criminal action that targeted innocents in a secure residential area is a clear attempt to shake Lebanon’s stability and destroy its national unity.”

He said that such attacks aimed to undermine Lebanon by importing sectarian sedition from the region, and expressed confidence that the security forces would be able to defeat any terrorist operation and protect Lebanon, while acknowledging the difficulty of “closing all paths through which dark terrorism penetrates.”

For his part, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk linked the violence to the involvement of Lebanese actors in Syria, adding that the nervousness of the bombers showed the security situation was under control.

“The situation cannot be settled as long as Lebanese indulge in Syria’s fire, whether alongside the regime or against it,” he said.

The United States Embassy also condemned the terrorist attack that killed a General Security officer and wounded 25 near an Army checkpoint in the Beirut suburb of Tayyouneh, pledging full support for Lebanese security forces in the struggle against terrorism.

“The United States condemns this morning’s terrorist bombing in Tayyouneh. We wish a full recovery to those wounded in the attack,” the embassy tweeted. “The United States reaffirms its support for the Lebanese Army and Lebanese Internal Security Forces in their mission to uphold security.”

United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly expressed similar sentiments in a press release Tuesday afternoon.

He “paid tribute to all that the security forces are doing to sustain security and stability in the country,” calling for Lebanese unity in the face of terrorism.

Tom Fletcher, British ambassador to Lebanon, expressed sympathy with those injured in the bombing and called the attack “another despicable effort to intimidate and divide.”

Other Lebanese officials joined in condemning the latest terrorist attack to shake Lebanon, expressing sympathy and frustration over the bombing in Tayyouneh.

Speaker Nabih Berri’s Amal Movement released a statement condemning terrorist attempts to hurt the Lebanese people and destroy their national unity, calling on “political officials to work quickly on the immunization of official security forces.”

Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora condemned the attack, saying that national unity was the only way to confront such dangers.

“Terrorism has no religion. It is a disease and a lesion that should be confronted using all arrangements and cautions to eradicate it and prosecute [those responsible] for it.”

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt also condemned the bombing and called “for surpassing the national interests above all other considerations.” He stressed the necessity to avoid any disruption of political institutions and to maximize collaboration between the state’s various security forces.

Similarly, MP Bahia Hariri released a statement saying the bombing’s purpose was to destroy the Lebanese people’s hopes for stability and security.

The Change and Reform bloc also released a statement offering its condolences to the families of the dead and wishing full recovery for the wounded, adding that such security incidents were sparked by an unstable political situation.

The statement, read by MP Ibrahim Kanaan, said “condemnations alone were not enough regarding such security threats that awake and then are suddenly dormant.”

“The issue of security needs to be addressed nationally, and securitywise, the forces, management and systems exist.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 25, 2014, on page 3.




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