Beirut (AsiaNews) – All of Lebanon is observing a day of national mourning after the twin suicide bombing in, Bourj el-Barajne, a populous southern suburb of Beirut, considered the heartland of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah.
The double attack was claimed by the Islamic State as revenge Hezbollah support for Syria's Assad. The bombing killed 43 and wounded 239, some seriously.
According to the IS, "soldiers of the Caliphate detonated explosives attached to a motorcycle in an area frequented by Rafida [derogatory term for Shiites ed]." " After the apostates gathered in the area, one of the knights of martyrdom detonated his explosive belt in the midst of them ", to make many victims as possible.
The police version is slightly different. According to police a suicide bomber with an explosive belt blew himself up in an area full of shops. After seven minutes, another suicide bomber blew himself up, causing even more victims. The body of a third candidate for martyrdom was found dead, but he had failed to detonate his explosive belt.
Hezbollah took to the field in support of Assad in 2013, gaining big military successes. Between July 2013 and February 2014, there were at least nine attacks on Hezbollah locations. Yesterday's was the bloodiest and cruelest as it targeted ordinary people.
Among the first to comment on the attack was France and the United States. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon spoke of "reprehensible act" and urged the Lebanese to "continue to work to preserve the security and stability of the country."
The Mufti of the Republic, Cheikh Deriane Abdellatif, a Sunni, said that "this crime that targeted innocent people must be condemned by religious leaders and it has nothing to do with Islam. This dark terrorism must be fought by rejecting divisions and safeguarding unity among Muslims. "
Even the leaders of the various Lebanese parties have stated that the attack "affects the whole nation" and have promised to work together for greater unity.
For over a year Lebanon has failed to elect a new president because of infighting and power struggles between so-called Christian groups and the obstruction of Shia groups. These tensions are fomented by outside interference from Saudi Arabia and Iran.