Wednesday 13 December 2017

Bombings at two Tripoli mosques kill at least 42

Twin explosions hit two mosques in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli yesterday, killing at least 42 people and wounding hundreds, intensifying the sectarian strife that has spilled over from the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

The apparently coordinated blasts – the biggest and deadliest in Tripoli since the end of Lebanon's own civil war – struck as locals were finishing Friday prayers in the largely Sunni Muslim city. Lebanese officials appealed for calm.

The explosions in Tripoli, 70km from Beirut, came a week after a huge car bomb killed at least 24 people in a part of the capital Beirut that is controlled by the Shi'ite Muslim militant movement Hezbollah.

A recent resurgence of sectarian violence in Lebanon has been stoked by the conflagration in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad is fighting a largely Sunni-led rebellion.

Both Hezbollah and radical Sunni groups in Lebanon have sent fighters over the border to support opposing sides in Syria.

The first explosion hit the Taqwa mosque, frequented by hardline Sunni Islamists. It was followed by a second blast outside the al-Salam mosque.


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