Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam held an emergency meeting with his security cabinet and military chiefs on Friday as the nation mourned 44 people killed in a double suicide bombing claimed by ISIS.
The blasts late on Thursday hit a residential and commercial area in a southern suburb of Beirut, a stronghold of Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah, in the latest spillover of violence from the war in neighboring Syria.
The first attacks in more than a year on a Hezbollah bastion inside Lebanon came at time when the group is stepping up its involvement in Syria’s civil war, now in its fifth year.
Iran-backed Hezbollah has sent troops over the border to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against Sunni Muslim insurgent groups including ISIS.
Lebanon is also suffering from its own political crisis in which disputes between parties, factions and sects have stopped the government taking basic decisions and left the country without a president for 17 months.
The army established a heavy security presence around the scene of the blast, which on Friday morning was still littered with debris, damaged cars and motorbikes and shattered glass.
Medical sources raised the death toll on Friday from 43 to 44, with more than 200 people wounded.
Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi said after the security meeting there was “complete trust” in Lebanon’s security forces to maintain relative calm in the country, which suffered its own civil war from 1975 to 1990.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر