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Al-Qaeda behind Beirut blast, initial probe shows

29 December 2013 10:01

342507_Beirut-blastPreliminary investigations into a recent bombing in Lebanon show an al-Qaeda-linked group was behind the blast, Press TV reports.

Lebanon’s March 14 Alliance has accused the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah of being behind Friday’s car bomb attack, which killed former finance minister, Mohamad Chatah, in the Lebanese capital Beirut.

However, results of an initial inquiry, published by the Lebanese daily As-safir on Saturday, cleared Hezbollah from the accusation.

Meanwhile, security sources said they arrested two men who confessed to stealing a car and handing it to one of the leaders of al-Qaeda-linked group Fatah al-Islam in the southern city of Sidon months ago.

After a meeting with members of Lebanese Higher Defense Council, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for an immediate formation of the unity government, saying the blast targeted the country’s stability.

“The blast targeted Lebanon’s stability. It’s not the time for settling political scores and launching accusations. The resumption of trust between different parties has become a priority,” Mikati said.

“We need to go back to dialog to end the crisis and form a government that includes everyone,” added the caretaker premier.

As the final report into the assassination of the senior politician is yet to be released, analysts confirmed that its results reject March 14’s accusations against Hezbollah.

“The findings released in the investigation are valid. There is no way the party (Hezbollah) would commit such acts. The findings show that all accusations against the resistance movement are fabricated and unjust and are part of a campaign to tarnish its image,” said political analyst Refaat Badawi.

Badawi added that Takfiri groups are tools of some intelligence services to launch terrorist attacks in order to gain political scores.

“The al-Nusra front, Jaisha al-Islam, and Fatah al-Islam work together and serve the American-Zionist agenda in Arab countries and Lebanon. They act through a Saudi Arabian wing.”

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the Friday car bomb attack that hit near Lebanon’s parliament and the headquarters of the March 14 Alliance in central Beirut.

Chatah’s bodyguard and at least three others were also killed and over 70 people were injured. Chatah, a senior March 14 figure, had also served as an adviser to former premier, Saad Hariri.

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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