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» 03/28/2011
LEBANON
Bomb against church in Zahle as fear of a resurgence in terrorism grows in Lebanon
The blast occurred overnight on Saturday against Our Lady Syro-Orthodox Church in Zahle, in the Bekaa Valley. A few days ago, a group of Estonian cyclists was abducted in the same area. “It is the beginning of a new series of attacks,” says Amin Gemayel.

Beirut (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A terrorist attack was carried out against the Syro-Orthodox Church of Our Lady of Zahle overnight on Saturday. Just after 4 am, a 2-kg device with TNT, nails and pieces of metal, exploded in front of the church’s main entrance, devastating the interior as well as parked cars and nearby houses. A man, Assad Bechara, was wounded when some pieces of glass struck his legs. Benedict XVI was probably referring to this and similar episodes yesterday, during the Angelus, when he said, “Finally, my thoughts turn to the authorities and citizens of the Middle East, where in recent days there have been several incidents of violence, so that the path of dialogue and reconciliation be privileged in the search for a just and brotherly coexistence.”

The attack did not discourage the faithful however, who took part in the Sunday morning Mass celebrated by Mgr Boulos Safar, the Syro-Orthodox bishop of Zahle, on the damaged parvis of the church.

The Minister of Culture, Salim Wardy, some members of the National Assembly, the local security chief in the Bekaa as well as the president of the Syriac League in Lebanon took part in the function.

In his homily, Mgr Safar said, “This attack is a message to undermine security in Lebanon”, but the “Church will not close its doors, whatever the consequences.”

Many take the abduction of a group of Estonian cyclists near Zahle a few days ago and this attack as a sign that terrorist groups are back in action.

Outgoing Minister Elie Marouni said it was a message, whilst Amin Gemayel, historic leader of the Phalange, said he feared the Zahle bomb was just the beginning of a new series of attacks.


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See also
09/11/2008 LEBANON
Aridi attack an attempt to sow discord among the Lebanese
08/02/2006 ISRAEL – LEBANON
War to continue till international force's arrival, says Olmert
08/04/2006 LEBANON - ISRAEL
Israel strikes Christian cities north of Beirut
by Youssef Hourany
05/08/2008 LEBANON
Beirut on the brink of another civil war
by Paul Dakiki
06/06/2007 LEBANON
Army enters Nahr el-Bared, first terrorists surrender

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

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