Sheikh Salem Rafei leads Friday prayers in the newly refurbished Al-Taqwa Mosque in Tripoli, Friday, May 30, 2014. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
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Al-Taqwa Mosque in the northern city of Tripoli reopened its doors to crowds of worshippers Friday, after months of renovation to repair the damage suffered by a bombing last August.The former head of the Association of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Salem Rafei led the Friday prayers in the presence of several officials including Tripoli Mayor Nader Ghazal.In his sermon, Rafei called on Lebanese not to be prejudiced against Syrians in the country, saying that only tens of thousands of Syrians voted for President Bashar Assad at the Syrian Embassy in Lebanon, while over a million boycotted the event. Rafei said Assad's supporters should return to areas in Syria controlled by the regime, adding that the majority of the voters were coerced by the government to cast ballots.A sit-in was held after prayers outside the mosque by hundreds of Syrian refugees to protest the Syrian presidential election.
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