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Bombs Blast Across Lebanon on Friday

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

A car burns outside one of two mosques hit by explosions in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli, August 23, 2013. (Photo: Reuters/Omar Ibrahi)

Violence from the conflict in Syria continues to spill over into Lebanon with explosive consequences.

Early Friday morning the Israeli air force bombed what they labeled a "terror site" in Naameh, an area between Beirut and Sidon.

According to media reports, the attack targeted a site of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), a group that has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Israel said the attack was "in response to a barrage of four rockets launched at northern Israel yesterday."  The PFLP denied responsibility for the attack on Israel on Thursday.

The New York Times notes that Capt. Eytan Buchman, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces,

declined to comment on the nature of the facility that was targeted, or why israel [sic] hit a different geographic area than the one from which the rocket was launched.


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Neither the rockets fired from Lebanon nor Israel's bombing resulted in injuries, according to media reports.

Meanwhile, in the northern, largely Sunni city of Tripoli, Reuters reports that at least 42 people were killed and hundreds wounded when bombs went off at two mosques following Friday prayers.  The Times reports that no one has taken responsibility for the bombs at this point.  Reuters adds:

A recent resurgence of sectarian violence in Lebanon has been stoked by the conflagration in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad is fighting a largely Sunni-led rebellion. Both Hezbollah and radical Sunni groups in Lebanon have sent fighters over the border to support opposing sides in Syria.

Zeina Khodr of Al Jazeera reports that it is a "volatile time for the country," and said that Tripoli "is a place which has witnessed clashes between supporters of the Syrian government and opponents of the Syrian government [and] Lebanese factions exchanging fire on many occasions over the past year."

Between 700,000 and one million Syrian refugees have fled to Lebanon, a country a little more than two decades out from its own civil war.  Ben Hubbard reported this week in the Times:

Always looming in the background for older Lebanese are memories of the country’s own civil war, which raged on and off between 1975 and 1990, destroying communities and deeply scarring the society. “There is a general neurosis in the country because this reminds us of a period of the Lebanese civil war when every car was a potential bomb,” said Bassel Salloukh, associate professor of political science at the Lebanese American University. “This has a lot of psychological costs and impacts.”


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