Lebanon News

Abdullah Azzam Brigades apologizes for civilian deaths

A civil defence member walks at the site of an explosion near the Iranian cultural centre in the southern suburbs of Beirut February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIRUT: A Lebanese Al-Qaeda affiliate apologized late Friday for the civilian casualties of bombings it claimed responsibility for last month and said its military operations were solely aimed at Hezbollah and its backer Iran.

The Abdullah Azzam Brigades has claimed responsibility for several attacks in Lebanon, including the Feb. 19 attack on the Iranian Cultural center in Beirut that killed 11 people and wounded 128, citing Hezbollah’s military role in neighboring Syria.

Referring to the Feb. 19 attack, the group said there had been a “technical fault” in the second of the two bombs used in the operation.

“The two bombs were meant to be in a place where the explosion would not reach the main road and cause damage to passersby,” the group said in a statement posted on Twitter late Friday.

The group said its military operations were directed solely at Hezbollah, which in May 2013 acknowledged sending fighters to back forces loyal to President Bashar Assad in Syria.

“The military operations of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades do not target Shiites, or other sects,” the group said.

“We stress to our suicide bombers to be careful and to abort the operation if they believe it will kill others than those targeted,” according to the statement.

“We confirm to the Sunnis in Lebanon, and other sects, that our war is against Hezbollah and our targets are the party’s interests and military, political and security positions both inside and outside Lebanon,” the group said. “Such targets are legitimate,” it added.





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