Lebanon News

Lebanon boosts security measures after deadly attack

People gather at the site of the Burj al-Barajneh attack in Beirut's southern suburbs on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, one day after a pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Security forces boosted measures across Lebanon Friday as the country mourned the deaths of at least 46 people in a twin suicide bombing that targeted a crowded area in Beirut's southern suburb one day earlier.

Prime Minister Tammam Salam ordered the army and police chiefs during a special meeting Friday morning to boost measures across the country in order to "fortify security and stability."

"The barbaric crime in Burj al-Barajneh didn't target a certain area or sect, but marked Lebanon with blood," Salam said at the beginning of the meeting, according to a statement released by his office.

He also tasked the Higher Relief Committee with surveying the blast site to compensate those who were affected by the attack.

ISIS claimed the attack that was carried out by two suicide bombers in the suburb of Burj al-Barajneh Thursday evening, killing 46 people and wounding more than 200.

"What happened should be a motive for further coordination between security forces, to boost awareness to avert harm against the Lebanese, and to support the army and other security agencies in their sacred mission," he added.

The attendees discussed the developments in the investigation and listened to a detailed presentation regarding the casualties and material losses.

Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk after the security meeting emphasized the importance of maintaining stability.

Political rivals "will practice some political leniency... which will be apparent in this afternoon's legislative session," he said.

Health Minister Wael Abu Faour described the "political solidarity" after the attack as "excellent," saying "it indicates the high level of coordination and vigilance of security agencies."

He also called on rivals to reactivate the Cabinet.

The meeting was attended by Internal Security Forces chief Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Basbous, Secretary-General of the Higher Relief Committee Maj. Gen. Mohammad Kheir, ISF Information Branch Brig. Gen. Imad Othman, Army Commander Gen. Jean Kahwaji, State Prosecutor Samir Hammoud, Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr Saqr, Army Intelligence Chief Brig. Gen. Edmond Fadel, Defense Minister Samir Moqbel, Machnouk, Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi, Faour and Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil.

Rifi told reporters before entering the meeting that he will request the referral of the "hideous Burj al-Barajneh crime" to the Justice Council.

"We are standing before a difficult stage in history... We should put our differences aside and revive the Cabinet swiftly," he said.

The army said the attack was carried out by two suicide bombers, and that the body of a third attacker who failed to detonate his explosive device was found at the scene of the second blast.

 

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