North Lebanon suicide attack kills nine/Condemnations pour in

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North Lebanon suicide attack kills nine
The Daily Star/an. 10, 2015 |
TRIPOLI, Lebanon: A suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded cafe in the neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen in the northern city of Tripoli Saturday evening killing nine people and wounding more than 30, a security source told The Daily Star. Another suicide bomber blew himself up outside the coffee shop, according to unconfirmed reports. The Nusra Front claimed responsibility for the “twin blasts” that targeted the Omran cafe in the majority Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen. “A suicide operation targeted a cafe [belonging to] the Alawite Arab Democratic Party,” the Nusra Front said on its social media pages, in reference to Jabal Mohsen’s dominant group the ADP. A Nusra commander named the authors of the attack as Taha Kayal and Bilal Ibrahim. Both are Lebanese and received their training in the Syrian region of Qalamoun on the border with Lebanon, the commander told Turkey’s news agency. The state-run National News Agency said Kayal and Ibrahim hailed from the impoverished Tripoli neighborhood of Mankoubine. A Lebanese Army statement said the suicide bomber attacked the cafe at around 7:30 p.m. and that military police would investigate the bombing. Security forces cordoned off the area and started investigations. North Lebanon Governor Ramzi Nohra imposed a curfew until 7 a.m. Sunday in Jabal Mohsen and surrounding areas. ADP sources spoke about two suicide bombers involved in the attack. One of the kamikazes succeeded in entering the cafe but the second one couldn’t and blew himself up outside, the sources said. Eyewitnesses reported seeing pools of blood and human remains outside the cafe following the blasts. Saturday’s explosion is the first serious breach to a security plan implemented in 2014 that ended years of clashes in Tripoli between the mostly Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen and the mostly Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh.
Recurring violence in Tripoli took on an increasingly sectarian nature with the beginning of the civil war in Syria. The ADP is an ally of President Bashar Assad, while Bab al-Tabbaneh’s residents largely support the Syrian uprising.
The suicide bombing came hours after Lebanon’s judiciary issued a new arrest warrant against the the leader of the ADP after he did not show up for a hearing Saturday. The judiciary had withdrawn the previous arrest warrant, issued in February 2014 against former MP Ali Eid, last week, after he had fled to Syria and remained on the run with his son Rifaat since last June. Eid has been charged with aiding a suspect in a twin bombing that targeted the Al-Taqwa and Al-Salam mosques in Tripoli, killing 47 people and wounded dozens of others.
Eid and his son fled to Syria when the Lebanese Army imposed a security plan in Tripoli. The Saturday blast is also the first of its kind targeting a civilian neighborhood in Lebanon in nearly a year. A series of car bombs and suicide attacks had targeted areas seen as sympathetic to Hezbollah from mid-2013 to early 2014 which were claimed by jihadi groups fighting in Syria, including ISIS and the Nusra Front. But the situation had largely been contained after a massive security sweep busted a number of militant cells in the country.

Condemnations of n. Lebanon attack pour in
The Daily Star/Jan. 10, 2015/BEIRUT: Hezbollah joined the Future Movement and others in condemning the suicide attack Saturday evening on a café in the Tripoli neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen which claimed the lives of nine people and wounded more than 30.
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri strongly condemned the terrorist “crime” saying it aims at causing confusion, fueling discord and destabilizing Tripoli, after the success of the Lebanese Army and security forces in stopping the cycle of violence in the northern city, confronting terrorist organizations, and reinforcing security. Saturday’s explosion is the first serious breach to a security plan implemented in 2014 that ended years of clashes in Tripoli between the mostly Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen and the mostly Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh.
Recurring violence in Tripoli took on an increasingly sectarian nature with the beginning of the civil war in Syria. Jabal Mohsen is affiliated with President Bashar Assad, while Bab al-Tabbaneh’s residents largely support the Syrian uprising.
“This heinous terrorist crime requires concerted efforts from all Lebanese, who should strongly support the Lebanese Army and the security forces in taking the required measures to preserve security, arrest the perpetrators and all those behind them and bring them to justice,” Hariri said.  Hezbollah, for its part, condemned the “horrific crime” that targeted Jabal Mohsen, saying “Takfiri” groups were the source of all evil. “Takfiri ideology targets all of us indiscriminately,” a statement by the party said. Hezbollah noted that the attack on the café denoted that “takfiri” groups were “bothered” by the ongoing dialogue between the various components of the Lebanese political scene, namely the party’s talks with the Future Movement. “Takfiri terrorists are irritated by the commitment of the Lebanese to national stances and social cohesion, in to the atmosphere of entente and dialogue going on at the domestic level,” Hezbollah said. The party called on all Lebanese groups to “alienate” terrorist groups that constitute a threat to Lebanon and its Muslim community.
Hezbollah called on the Lebanese to throw their weight behind the Lebanese Army and security agencies, saying all means should be employed to eradicate terrorism. Prime Minister Tammam Salam also called on the Lebanese to support the Army and security forces against terrorism. He said the attack constituted a new challenge to security forces that had restored peace and stability in Tripoli. “We tell those sick minds that this crime will not terrorize the Lebanese or the Tripolitans and will not weaken the state’s determination to fight terrorism and terrorists,” Salam said. “Our Army and security forces are on high alert and will continue implementing the security plan and will track down all those looking to harm Lebanon and the Lebanese.”Salam called on the residents of Tripoli from all confessions and sects to support security forces and thwart attempts to sow strife among them. Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt for his part said the terrorist threat was looming over Lebanon, adding that the Lebanese Army was fully capable of safeguarding the country.
Jumblatt called on the residents of Tripoli to “stand united” against terrorism.