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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Aug 09th
Hariri lashes out at Damascus in wake of bombing in North PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dailystar   
Monday, 29 September 2008


Sleiman calls on Lebanese to unite BEIRUT: Monday's bus bombing in the restive northern city of Tripoli, which killed five people including four soldiers and wounded at least 33 others, triggered a flurry of reactions from Lebanese political leaders. Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri lashed out at Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying he was trying to insinuate that Lebanon, the North in particular, was responsible for the security situation in Syria.
Assad told the head of Lebanon's Journalists Union Melhem Karam on Monday that North Lebanon had become "a real base for extremism and constitutes a danger for Syria."
Hariri said that some agencies were smuggling extremist fighters over the borders "in order to spread chaos and commit terrorist acts that target army officers and civilians."
He said last week's deployment of Syrian troops all along Lebanon's northern borders was carried out under the pretext of preventing smuggling, but was actually intended to frighten the Lebanese.
Hariri questioned why similar deployments had not occurred on Syria's borders with Israel and Iraq. The Syrian leadership was looking for any excuse to obstruct the normalization of relations with Lebanon, Hariri said, adding that the people of Lebanon would not accept Assad reassurances, because his actions contained an honest and direct threat to Lebanon's sovereignty.
Hariri also warned the international community not to accept any Syrian intervention in Lebanon under the guise of confronting extremists.
Meanwhile, President Michel Sleiman called on the Lebanese to unite and for their leaders to make further efforts to bring about reconciliation. Sleiman said that "the terrorism, which targeted military officers, will encourage the people to forge reconciliations, and support the national dialogue to define defense strategy.
Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said on Monday that the Common Central Security Council and the Interior Minister would pay close attention circumstances surrounding the Monday morning explosion in Tripoli. "I do not think that this explosion is related to Damascus bombing, nor to the Syrian military reinforcements on the northern borders," he said. Siniora called for waiting for the investigation to be completed before accusing anyone.
Also commenting on the explosion, Speaker Nabih Berri said the attack was "an act of terror." Berri said the attack was "particularly reprehensible" coming right before the Eid al-Fitr holiday. He added that it was intended to undermine reconciliation efforts, the national dialogue and Lebanon's return to prominence in Arab affairs.
Berri also said that the explosion was an act of revenge against the army, which he said, was "the spine of our country."
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt said  the explosion targeted the army's role as preserver of peace and national unity.
In an interview with Al-Anbaa magazine, which will be published on Thursday, Jumblatt called for providing the army and security forces with adequate equipment, "no matter where it came from, in order to prevent further incidents."


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