Lebanese PM holds emergency meeting after deadly bombing

As Lebanese people mourn deadly car bomb that ripped through southern Beirut suburb, Lebanese Prime Minister convened with his security cabinet

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A Lebanese army soldier walks as he secures the area outside the parliament building in downtown Beirut November 13, 2015

Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam held an emergency meeting with his security cabinet and military chiefs on Friday, after massive bombings ripped through southern suburb in Beirut and killed 44 people and injured over 200.

DAESH terrorists claimed the attack on the majority Shiite suburb and rendered the Lebanese nation to state of mourning.

The explosions took place at the same time in a predominantly Shiite neighbourhood Burj al Barajneh, a stronghold of the Shiite Muslim militant movement Hezbollah.     

Media reports describe the attack as “a spillover of violence from the war in neighbouring Syria.”

People carry away a wounded person from the site of an explosion in Beirut, in this still image taken from video shot on November 12, 2015 [Reuters]

Hezbollah is an active party in the Syrian conflict, with aiding the regime of Bashar al Assad, along with Iran and Russia, Assad withstood the war since March 2011 with their assistance.

Lebanon, which is also suffering from its own massive political crises, is now home for over 1.5 million Syrian refugees. Lebanon has been without a president for 17 months, unable to elect a new one since May 2014, due to the parliament’s failure to meet a two-thirds working majority required to hold an electoral session.

At the bombings’ scene

Cordons have been erected around the debris of the blast,  damaged cars and motorbikes and shattered glass, the Lebanese army also established a heavy security presence around the scene, which was not cleaned up until Friday morning.

Forensic inspectors examine the site of the two explosions that occurred on Thursday in the southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital Beirut, November 13, 2015 [Reuters]

After Salam’s security meeting on Friday, Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi said he had "complete trust" in Lebanon's security forces to maintain security of relative calm in the country, which suffered its own civil war from 1975 to 1990.

"This explosion targeted Lebanon as whole, not only Beirut's southern suburbs," a local Beirut resident told Reuters, "It's been a year... with no explosions. We thought we were done with this, but were proved wrong yesterday.”

DAESH’s statement claiming responsibility for the attacks read "After the apostates gathered in the area, one of the knights of martyrdom detonated his explosive belt in the midst of them.”

The statement identified the three perpetrators as “two Palestinians and a Syrian”, also the statement did not refer to Hezbollah's involvement in Syria’s conflict.

The UN, US react to the incident

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon responded after the horrific attacks, and urged Lebanon's security services and state institutions "not to allow this despicable act to destroy the relative calm that has prevailed in the country over the past year."

Accompanying Ki-moon’s comments came the White House, which also pledged to support the country as it worked to "bring those responsible for this attack to justice."

The White House also said the "horrific terrorist acts would only serve to reinforce our commitment to support the institutions of the Lebanese state, including the security services, to ensure a stable, sovereign and secure Lebanon."

TRTWorld and agencies