Jabal Mohsen Victims Laid to Rest as Tripoli Leaders Reject ‘Any Justification of Terror’
Naharnet /11.01.15/Grief engulfed the Tripoli district of Jabal Mohsen on Sunday during the funeral of nine victims who were killed in yesterday’s twin suicide bombing, as the city’s leaders stressed the need to “pursue the criminals” and stand by the state and its security forces. Head of the Islamic Alawite Council Sheikh Assad Assi led a huge crowd of mourners, only hours after the evening attack on a popular Jabal Mohsen cafe that also left 37 people wounded. A security-ministerial meeting was meanwhile held at MP Samir al-Jisr’s Tripoli residence, in which the conferees rejected “any justification of terror attacks.”
“Tripoli and its residents are committed to the security plan and they believe in the state,” said a statement recited by al-Jisr after the meeting.
“Sunnis believe that punishment is exclusively the responsibility of the state and the rulers and we call on the families (of the victims) to observe patience and not to be dragged into rumors,” he added, in an apparent response to the extremist al-Nusra Front, which claimed Saturday’s attack and said it was aimed at avenging “the Sunni community in Lebanon and Syria.” The conferees also called for solidarity with the army “in order to eradicate terrorism in Tripoli and across Lebanon.”Addressing the government, they urged efforts to “prevent any security violations and to pursue the criminals.” “We also urge the relief commission to assess the damages and compensate those affected,” the statement added. Meanwhile, the families of the two suicide bombers Taha Samir al-Khayyal and Bilal Mohammed al-Meraayan issued a statement condemning their bloody operation. “Those who commit such an act have no family or religion,” said the statement. “The tragedy of Jabal Mohsen’s residents is the tragedy of the entire country and may God have mercy on the martyrs,” it added.
U.S. ‘Strongly Condemns’ Deadly Jabal Mohsen Bombing
Naharnet/11.01.15/The United States on Sunday condemned the Jabal Mohsen suicide bombing that killed nine people and pledged its support for Lebanon’s security forces. “The United States strongly condemns yesterday’s suicide bombing at the Omran Cafe in the Jabal Mohsen neighborhood of Tripoli, Lebanon,” said Marie Harf, the State Department’s deputy spokeswoman. “The United States will continue its strong support for the Lebanese security forces as they protect the Lebanese people, combat violent extremists, and preserve Lebanon’s stability, sovereignty, and security,” she said. The attack, which hit a Tripoli neighborhood inhabited by members of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s Alawite sect, was claimed by al-Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of al-Qaida. The Lebanese army has identified the two suicide bombers as Taha Samir al-Khayyal and Bilal Mohammed al-Meraayan, saying they were both residents of Tripoli’s al-Mankoubeen district, which lies just 500 meters from Jabal Mohsen.Agence France Presse
.Arabi Strongly Slams Jabal Mohsen Blasts, Arab Delegation to Show ‘Solidarity with Lebanon’
Naharnet/11.01.15/Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi “strongly” condemned Sunday the twin suicide bombing that killed nine people Saturday in Tripoli’s Jabal Mohsen, on the eve of an expected “solidarity” visit by an Arab ministerial delegation to Lebanon. In a statement released by his office, Arabi also lauded “the stances and wisdom of all the Lebanese political leaders who condemned this abhorrent crime.”The attack “aims to undermine the path of security and stability and Lebanon and to ignite the fire of strife,” the secretary-general warned. He also urged “all the Lebanese” to “embrace the Lebanese army and security forces.”The attack was carried out by two suicide bombers who have been identified by the army as Tripoli residents Taha Samir al-Khayyal and Bilal Mohammed al-Meraayan. Both are Lebanese citizens according to the Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front, which had swiftly claimed responsibility for the deadly bombing. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA reported Sunday that “Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah will head tomorrow, Monday to the Lebanese republic at the head of an Arab delegation, given that the State of Kuwait has assumed chairmanship of the Arab League council.”
The delegation will also comprise Arab League chief Arabi and Mauritanian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Ahmed Ould Teguedi. The visit is in line with the Arab League’s decisions that aim to “highlight Arab solidarity with Lebanon’s government and people and support the efforts that are being exerted at the political and economic levels to preserve security and stability across Lebanon,” KUNA said. The Arab officials will discuss means to “boost stability and economic growth in Lebanon” while stressing the importance of “the national dialogue’s resolutions.”The delegation will also tackle the issue of “humanitarian aid for Syrian and Palestinian refugees,” the Kuwaiti agency said. The Arab officials have meetings scheduled with several Lebanese officials, including Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Tammam Salam and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil.
Father of seven who died for his neighborhood
Kareem Shaheen/The Daily Star/Jan. 12, 2015
TRIPOLI, Lebanon: A stream of men embrace Khoder Issa Khaddour, kissing his head as his father’s coffin rests on his shoulders. Khoder smiles through the ordeal, urging all to congratulate him on his father’s martyrdom, not mourn his demise. “We are proud of him, and he is the martyr of all of Jabal Mohsen and Lebanon,” he told The Daily Star outside his house, a short walk away from the site of a twin suicide bombing that struck the majority-Alawite neighborhood in Tripoli Saturday night. “This terrorism targets all of Lebanon and not just Jabal Mohsen. He is the martyr of Lebanon.”“Tell me mabrook, he is a martyr of the nation,” he added. “He did this to save his family of Jabal Mohsen.”
Residents and eyewitnesses told The Daily Star that Khoder’s father, “Abu Ali” Issa Khaddour, 60, immediately rushed to the scene of the first suicide bombing after hearing the explosion from his house. His father was often impulsive, Khoder said. There, Abu Ali noticed a man walking to the gathering crowd and the nearby, large Omran cafe, shouting “Allahu akbar.”Residents and witnesses said Abu Ali rushed to the man and tackled him before the suicide bomber detonated his vest. The action prevented a larger massacre, locals said. “I was very happy,” Khoder said, when asked how he reacted to the news. “Our traditions and our faith tell us to give martyrs, and my father was a hero and a martyr.”
“He died a hero and a martyr.” Abu Ali was father to three sons and four daughters. But Khoder said the tightly knit community of Jabal Mohsen was all one family, and his father died to save them. But so are the rest of the people of Tripoli, he said, who are innocent of the actions of the men who killed his father. “His parting is a shock to us, but we are proud of him,” he said. “God protect all of the Lebanese people from terrorism.”