Christian Today – A car bomb exploded in a mainly Christian residential neighbourhood of Lebanon s capital late on Friday, killing one person and wounding more than 20, according to Red Cross and security sources.
Officials said on Saturday the attack near a branch of Lebanon ‘s Byblos Bank in the area of Achrafieh in Beirut was aimed to sow strife among people.
“This new attempt aims to spread fear among the safe citizens and … to keep tension and fear persisting every time the government moves towards re-establishing stability, Reuters was told by pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud now at the U.N. General Assembly in New York .
Fridays blast was the seventh bombing to target Christian-dominated districts of Beirut since the killing of former anti-Syrian Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in a car bomb in February, Reuters reported. The alleged assassination is currently being probed by the United Nations.
According to Reuters, the latest explosion was the result of a 10-kg (22 pound) bomb placed in a suitcase under a car. The bomb exploded shortly before the midnight, leaving windows shattered and two cars on fire. The nearby residents were asleep but were horrified by the sound, which was heard throughout the capital, according to Reuters.
“What we lived this night was like hell,” Eva Nashleklian, a neighbourhood, told Reuters as she wiped blood off her arm.
So far, four pro-Syrian generals have been arrested for the bombings.
“These criminals … are intent on their terrorist plot to prevent Lebanon from regaining its strength and to sow strife and division among the Lebanese,” Nassib Lahoud, a Christian former MP, was quoted by Reuters as saying.
“The timing of the bombing has a hidden message … that aims at clouding the credibility of the U.N. investigation,” Lahoud continued.
Many Lebanese blame the killing of Hariri on Syria , the main power broker in the country since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war. After a 29-year presence, Syria was forced to withdraw its troops in April following a wave of recent anti-Syria protests in Lebanon .
Lebanese Christian opposition lawmaker Samir Franjieh said after a previous explosion that the bombings were carried out to warn the anti-Syrian demonstrators that wars will come if Syrian troops leave the country, therefore forcing the Lebanese to accept Syria s presence.