Lebanese President Michel Sleiman says Thursday’s deadly bombing in the southern suburb of Beirut bears the fingerprints of the Israeli regime.
The car bomb attack killed at least 21 people and injured more than 250 in the Shia neighborhood of Ruwaiss in Beirut. The area is a stronghold of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah. “This is a criminal act that bears the fingerprints of terrorism and Israel, and is aimed to destabilize Lebanon and deal a blow to the resilience of the Lebanese,” Sleiman said on Thursday night. Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced that Friday would be a national day of mourning. Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam also censured the attack and called for support for the security forces. In addition, former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri condemned the attack, describing it a “horrific crime”. “The blast is part of a terrorist scheme that aims to sow strife and evil across Lebanon,” Hariri said in a statement released by his media office. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Turkey, and Iran also condemned the attack. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Araghchi said the Zionists and their allies are plotting to destabilize Lebanon but the Lebanese people and the Islamic resistance will neutralize the plots. In an interview with Press TV on July 24, an international human rights lawyer said that foreign powers are attempting to fabricate and benefit from Shia-Sunni discord in the Middle East, seeking to see the Muslim world weakened in the wake of such rifts. “Who benefits is of course the key issue. It’s really not the people of Iraq, it’s not the Sunnis, it’s not the Shias. It is external powers that want to exploit and create division. Those are the parties that benefit,” said Canada-based attorney Edward Corrigan. “It’s certainly not the people in the region [that benefit from sectarian conflicts]; it’s not Iran; it’s not Iraq; it’s not the people of Syria, which are now witnessing the destruction of their state and where there has been attempts to provoke similar sectarian conflict in Lebanon,” he added.