08/26/2013, 00.00
LEBANON
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Bombings in Ruwais and Tripoli are crimes against God, humanity and Lebanon, Maronite Patriarch said

by Paul Dakiki
In yesterday's homily, Card Beshara Rai calls on political leaders to find unity to save Lebanon. He talks about the reconciliation among Lebanese. He visits al-Taqwa mosque in Tripoli. The tragedies of Ruwais (southern Beirut) and Tripoli are "our tragedies because we are one body and one family."

Dimane (AsiaNews) - Lebanon's Maronite Patriarch Card Beshara Rai condemned the attacks on mosques in Tripoli and in Ruwais, southern Beirut, as "a crime against God, against humanity, against Lebanon". He did so in the homily he delivered yesterday in Dimane, the patriarch's summer residence, extending his sympathy and prayers to the victims and their families in the two areas.

Stressing  the need for national unity, the patriarch called on political leaders to lead the country out of the current deadlock. For months in fact, Lebanon has had no government because of Hizbollah's demands and obstacles as well as differences among Lebanese political parties over the Syria crisis.

"In view of the monstrosity that has touched Lebanon, from southern Beirut to the heart of the North," the patriarch said in a direct swipe at political leaders, "the men in power and the conflicting parties who refuse to sit at the table of dialogue-which is blocking the formation of a new government, paralyzing parliament and suspending public life-must become aware that they are responsible for the security chaos, the proliferation of illegal weapons, the traveling car bombs and explosions as well as blood of the innocent martyrs. Their heavy responsibility in these national disasters imposes on them the duty to lead the country out of the region's sectarian conflict, freeing it from foreign directives and separating it from Syrian developments. "

"If people engage in objective dialogue, one that can save, positive results are possible, transcending [current] conditions. This is what the innocent victims want."

Noting that the Lebanese are already living the reconciliation that the parties and the country need, he went on to say, "We were very touched by the women and children from Beirut's southern neighbourhoods [where the first attack took place], who handed out roses as a sign of solidarity with the people of Tripoli [where the last two attacks took place]."

After the Mass, the patriarch went to Tripoli, to the al-Taqwa mosque, one of the two places that were bombed, to offer his condolences for the death of 45 people and the wounding of another 900.

"Ten days after the Ruwais bombs," Card Rai said, "the same hand orchestrated the bombs in Tripoli and I, on behalf of the Maronite Church, tell you that the tragedy in Daniyeh and that of Tripoli are our tragedies, because we are one body and one family. "

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