UN Secretary General Ban Ki - moon has strongly condemned a deadly bomb attack in a southern suburb of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, which led to the death of over 20 people.“Such acts of violence are completely unacceptable and only reinforce the determination of the international community to continue supporting Lebanon’s security and stability at a time of severe regional turbulence, ” said Ban in a statement issued on Thursday. On Thursday, at least 21 people were killed and 200 injured in a powerful car bomb explosion that rocked the Zahiyeh suburb, between Bir el - Abed and Rweiss neighborhoods, south of Beirut. The blast occurred in an area where the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has a huge following. Some 60 kilograms of TNT were reportedly used in the car bombing.
The UN chief further called on “all Lebanese to remain united, to rally around their State institutions and to focus on safeguarding Lebanon’s security and stability. ”Ban expressed hope that the perpetrators of the criminal act will be brought to justice as soon as possible, offering condolences to the families of the victims. Lebanese President Michel Sleiman also censured the bombing, saying the incident “bears the fingerprints of terrorism and Israel, and is aimed to destabilize Lebanon and deal a blow to the resilience of the Lebanese.” In addition, Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Saad Hariri denounced the attack as a “horrific crime,” which is aimed at sowing strife across the country. The Lebanese government has declared Friday as a national day of mourning. A militant group operating in neighboring Syria calling itself the Brigades of Aiysha has claimed responsibility for the bomb attack.