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Lebanese caretaker premier urges national unity

28 December 2013 14:36

342394_ Najib-Mikati

Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati has condemned the deadly bombing in the capital Beirut, calling for national unity.

At least eight people were killed and over 70 others injured after a huge car bomb went off near the headquarters of Lebanon’s March 14 Alliance and the parliament in the capital, Beirut, on Friday.

A senior figure of the March 14 Alliance and former finance minister, Mohammad Shatah, and a companion of his were among those killed in the blast. Shatah also served as an adviser to the country’s ex-prime minister, Saad al-Hariri.

Mikati on Friday described the explosion as a crime, underlining the need for dialog among various political factions.

“It is not the time for political battles and accusations,” he said.

Mikati also called for an end to all violence, saying, “The Lebanese people have had enough.”

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the Friday bombing.

Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the US have also denounced the attack. Tehran says Lebanon’s enemies are seeking to foment sedition by targeting political factions.

Meanwhile, Lebanese dignitaries have attended a mosque in Beirut to sign a book of condolences in honor of Shatah.

The Lebanese capital has been hit by several deadly bomb attacks over the past few months.

At least 23 people, including Iran’s cultural attaché to Beirut Hojjatoleslam Ebrahim Ansari, were killed and more than 140 injured in November after two explosions struck near the Iranian Embassy in southern Beirut.

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