LCCC ENGLISH DAILY NEWS BULLETIN
Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 8,14-21. They had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. He enjoined them, "Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod."They concluded among themselves that it was because they had no bread. When he became aware of this he said to them, "Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?" They answered him, "Twelve." When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up? They answered (him), "Seven." He said to them, "Do you still not understand?"
Canada's Foreign Minister Release
Minister MacKay Issues Statement Marking the Anniversary of the ...Government of Canada Newsroom (press release) Ottawa, ON, Canada 14.02.07
The World Council of the Cedars Revolution:Terrorist attacks against civilian buses in Lebanon 14.02.07
A Repellent Party.By: Hazem Saghieh 14.02.07
State Department Acts Against Hezbollah & PIJ Terrorists, Sends ...Counterterrorism Blog 14.02.07
Israel's Deterrence after the Second Lebanon War-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs 14.02.07
Truth and punishment-By: Elyakim Haetzni/Israel Opinion 14.02.07
Two Views The Crisis in Lebanon: Who Benefits?Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 14.02.07
Latest News Reports From The Daily Star For 14/02/07
Siniora vows 'justice,' links perpetrators to Hariri killing
Three dead as bombs hit buses near Beirut
Government revises security for Hariri memorial
Many fear series of attacks will now focus on civilians instead of politicians
Routine commute turns deadly as bombers target civilians
Army, UNIFIL replace Blue Line markers
MP: US policy 'has always brought harm to Lebanon'
Why we all miss him
March 14 Forces insist bus blasts won't detract from Hariri rally
Lebanese politicians, clerics pay respects at Hariri grave
Complete File addressing the AIN ALAQ Criminal attack 14.02.07
Latest News Reports From miscellaneous sources For 14/02/07
March 14 Calls for Sanctions on Syrian Regime-Naharnet
U.S. Embassy: Bus Bombings 'Barbaric' Attack-Naharnet
Nasrallah Supports Revealing Truth in Hariri Murder-Naharnet
European Union Condemns Bus Blasts-Naharnet
Vatican: Bus Explosions 'Anti-Christian'-Naharnet
Britain: Bus Blasts Intended to 'Create Further Tension-Naharnet
France 'Horrified' by Bus Bombings-Naharnet 13.02.07
Arab League chief condemns Lebanon bombings-Kuwait News Agency
Terror Attack Takes Aim at Civilians in Lebanon-New York Times
Buses targeted in Lebanon attacks Three Killed 20 injured - AP 13.02.07
Hariri: 'Terrorist' Bus Blasts Aimed at Disrupting Wednesday's Ceremonies-Naharnet 13.02.07
German EU presidency condemns Lebanon bus attacks-Jerusalem Post
Olmert: Israel Will Have To Surrender Golan For Peace With Syria-All Headline News
UNICEF Extends Helping Hand to Traumatized Children of Lebanon-Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
Lebanon war has no name-Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Feltman to Ensure 'International Partnership' for Lebanon Benefit-Naharnet
Arab League's Moussa upbeat on Lebanon deal-Reuters
Lebanon: Sectarianism and Peace Groups-Global Voices Online
Lebanese PM: Attacks Aim to Destabilize Lebanon-Arutz Sheva
Joe Kennedy Accused of 'Shameless Support' for Chavez-CNSNews.com
Lebanon Blasts Target Christians, Increase Instability-Arutz Sheva
Minister MacKay Issues Statement Marking the Anniversary of the Assassination of Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
February 13, 2007 -No. 23
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, today issued the following statement to mark the second anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on February 14, 2005:
“Rafik Hariri was a strong and inspired leader who was committed to Lebanon’s independence and full sovereignty. He died at the hands of those who do not believe in a free, democratic, pluralistic and modern Lebanon. Two years after his tragic murder, he is deeply missed. We reiterate our call to bring those responsible to justice.
“We urge all of the communities in Lebanon, in a spirit of compromise and respect for their legitimate democratic institutions, to build consensus through dialogue in order to resolve their political differences. Canada reiterates its support for the United Nations resolutions aimed at strengthening Lebanon’s democratic development and guaranteeing its security and sovereignty. Canada fully supports the leadership of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora at this important time.
“The attacks on innocent civilians today in Lebanon demonstrate once again the need for dialogue. Canada condemns this cowardly act of terror. We call for calm and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families of the victims.”
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For further information, media representatives may contact:
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Vatican: Bus Explosions 'Anti-Christian'
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone condemned as "anti-Christian" Tuesday's bomb attacks on two buses in Lebanon in which at least three people were killed. Cardinal Bertone described the double bombings in a mainly Christian mountain area northeast of Beirut as "a serious attack of an anti-Christian character". The cardinal, who occupies the number two position at the Vatican, called for prayers for Lebanon, the ANSA news agency reported.(AFP) Beirut, 13 Feb 07, 19:10
France 'Horrified' by Bus Bombings
French President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday voiced horror over the twin bus bombings that killed three people in Ain Alaq in the northern Metn province.
"I am horrified and dismayed at the appalling attacks that took place this morning in Bikfaya. I condemn them in the clearest terms," Chirac wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Fouad Saniora. "By striking on the eve of the commemoration of the attack that claimed the lives of Rafik Hariri and his companions, these murderers are trying to plunge the whole of Lebanon back into violence."Bomb blasts tore through two minibuses in the town of Ain Alaq just south of Bikfaya, killing three people Tuesday morning a day before the deeply divided nation prepared to commemorate Hariri's murder two years ago.According to the French presidency, Chirac also spoke with Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir to express his condolences.
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy warned that those responsible of the "hateful and cowardly attack," "and of those of the past two years" will be brought to justice."Faced with this new attempt to destabilize Lebanon, it is essential that the Lebanese people stick together to avoid falling into the trap that has been laid for them," he said in a statement. He stressed France's solidarity with efforts to "preserve the stability, unity and sovereignty of Lebanon." Britain too condemned the deadly bus bombings, saying they were targeted to heighten tension at a politically sensitive time.
"I utterly condemn the bombing of two buses this morning near Bikfaya, Mount Lebanon, which, as well as apparently being timed to indiscriminately kill civilians on their way to work, was clearly targeted to create further tension at a highly sensitive time," Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said in a statement. And she added: "I take this opportunity to reiterate Britain's support for all those in Lebanon working to promote national unity and making efforts to overcome the current political impasse through peaceful dialogue."(AFP-Naharnet) Beirut, 13 Feb 07, 13:12
Britain: Bus Blasts Intended to 'Create Further Tension'
Britain's Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett condemned Tuesday's deadly bus bombings in Lebanon, saying they aimed at escalating tension at a politically sensitive time. The blasts, which killed three people, ripped through two buses as the deeply divided nation prepared to commemorate the second anniversary of ex-premier Rafik Hariri's assassination. "I utterly condemn the bombing of two buses this morning near Bikfaya, Mount Lebanon, which, as well as apparently being timed to indiscriminately kill civilians on their way to work, was clearly targeted to create further tension at a highly sensitive time," Beckett said in a statement. "I take this opportunity to reiterate Britain's support for all those in Lebanon working to promote national unity and making efforts to overcome the current political impasse through peaceful dialogue," she added. The bombings, in a mainly Christian area northeast of Beirut, were the latest in a spate of attacks that have been blamed on Lebanon's former powerbroker Syria.(AFP) Beirut, 13 Feb 07, 16:39
European Union Condemns Bus Blasts
The German presidency of the European Union called on leaders in Lebanon to avert a new spiral of violence in the country after bomb blasts killed at least three people in two buses Tuesday. "The presidency of the European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the targeted attacks on two buses in Lebanon which today claimed several lives and left many injured," it said in a statement.
"On the eve of the second anniversary of the assassination of the former prime minister Rafik Hariri, the presidency of the European Union calls upon all sides in Lebanon to take a determined stand against violence and to do everything they can to prevent the situation from escalating."
It said the political crisis in the deeply divided country could only be resolved through dialogue and respect for the country's democratic institutions.
The bombings in a mainly Christian mountain area northeast of Beirut were the latest in a spate of attacks blamed on Lebanon's former powerbroker Syria. They are expected to exacerbate tensions in a country where the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim Hizbullah movement is spearheading a campaign to bring down the Western-backed government.(AFP) Beirut, 13 Feb 07, 19:16
U.S. Embassy: Bus Bombings 'Barbaric' Attack
The U.S. embassy denounced as "barbaric" Tuesday's bus bombings which killed three people as they traveled on two buses in the northern Metn town of Ain Alaq. The embassy "condemns in the strongest terms the barbaric attack on innocent Lebanese citizens," said an embassy statement.
"Among the dead and injured were students on their way to university, government employees going to work, ordinary Lebanese trying to get on with the business of life," the statement said. "Fathers and brothers, aunts and sisters, mothers, children and loved ones of Lebanon, their lives have now been cut short or marked forever by this senseless act of terrorism," it added. The statement said the blasts, which came on the eve of the second anniversary of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's assassination, "can only be seen as an attempt to silence and intimidate those Lebanese determined to realize their vision of a sovereign, independent and democratic Lebanon." "The United States stands firmly with the Lebanese people in repudiating such acts of terror and violence and decries this attempt to incite the Lebanese people," said the statement. It reiterated U.S. support for "the Government of Lebanon as it works to reaffirm Lebanon's sovereignty, engage in vital reforms and strengthen Lebanon's democratic institutions." Beirut, 13 .02.07
March 14 Calls for Sanctions on Syrian Regime
Premier Fouad Saniora said the bus blasts that killed three people and wounded 18 on Tuesday "wouldn't terrorize us" and the March 14 majority coalition blamed the crime on the Syrian regime, calling for sanctions on Damascus.
Saniora, in an address to the Lebanese on the eve of the second anniversary of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination, said the bomb blasts in commuting buses northeast of Beirut were "criminal acts of violence.""We will not be terrorized and we will not be scared off. We will chase the criminals," he pledged. Saniora said "we will not give up our commitment to serve justice" in the 2005 Hariri assassination and related crimes.
Addressing families of the three people who were killed in the bus blasts in Ain Alaq earlier in the day, Saniora said: "Their rights will not be lost irrespective of the cost.""We will not succumb … we are not a sphere of influence for anyone…The Lebanese will not compromise on their freedoms, security and safety… and the nature of their regime," he added.In a related development, the majority March 14 coalition which backs the Saniora government said in a statement the bus blasts are "a new massacre … targeting innocent civilians."
"We hold the Syrian regime fully responsible for this crime and we charge this regime of attempting to change Lebanon into another Iraq to destroy its security and stability in order to torpedo efforts aimed at setting up an international tribunal" that should try suspects in the Hariri assassination and related crimes. The alliance, in a statement after an emergency meeting, urged the Arab League, the U.N. Security Council and the international community to "shoulder your responsibilities in lifting the Syrian regime's aggression off Lebanon."The statement called for imposing sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and for dispatching U.N. peacekeepers to "control the Lebanese-Syrian borders that would halt the flow of weapons to tools of this (Syrian) regime."It also urged major factions in the opposition, in reference to Hizbullah and Amal, to "shoulder your responsibility in confronting efforts by the Syrian regime to change Lebanon into another Iraq by immediately approving the creation of the international tribunal and returning to the dialogue table."The alliance also called on its supporters to take part in the popular ceremony scheduled for Wednesday to commemorate the second anniversary of the Hariri assassination in Beirut's Martyrs' Square. Beirut, 13 Feb 07, 20:51
Feltman to Ensure 'International Partnership' for Lebanon Benefit
U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman has vowed to dedicate himself to ensuring that the "international partnerships" that the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri did a great deal to create can continue to benefit Lebanon.
"Because of an outrageous crime, committed two years ago this week, I became the last American Ambassador to witness the astonishing patriotism, energy, and creativity that Prime Minister Hariri devoted to advancing his country's interests," Feltman said in a statement after meeting parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri on Monday.
"This sad honor, however, bestows on me a special responsibility, one that I eagerly embrace: To dedicate myself to ensuring that the international partnerships that Prime Minister Hariri did so much to create can continue to benefit Lebanon and the Lebanese people," Feltman said.
"The United States is confident that the Lebanese people recognize these strong international partnerships not as the threats some claim but rather as opportunities to enable the Lebanese to achieve their aspirations for independence and democracy in a country at peace internally, regionally, and internationally," he added. Beirut, 13 Feb 07, 21:28
A Repellent Party
Hazem Saghieh Al-Hayat - 13/02/07//
Any settlement in Lebanon would conflict with the nature of Hezbollah, despite the fact that no one can argue about the good wills and intentions of those who call for a settlement. Let us say at the beginning that all sectarian projects, with no exception, are repellent to other projects. This is the definition of sectarianism to which everyone conforms: Nabih Berry, Saad Hariri, Walid Jumblatt, Michel Aoun, Samir Geagea and the others.
This very Lebanese characteristic, however, has a flip side. That side, which is becoming less popular day by day, is to the effect that coexistence is subject to the quota system. If the representatives of a certain sect find that their quota is less than what they have been expecting, they mobilize the 'masses of the sect' and employ the ideologies and terminologies of the regional situation to enlarge this quota.
This reasoning applies to the more ferocious battles that modern Lebanon has seen. It applies to Moussa al-Sadr in his demands to lift the ban and to the prime ministers who had raised the flag of 'participation.' Even Kamal Jumblatt, who had brought the Palestinian resistance into the inner political life, fought to enlarge his quota within a united Lebanon. Therefore, there remained some lines of communication, though very weak. This way we may also understand some of the swinging or changing positions of some figures who were thought rock solid. An example of this is al-Sadr's attitude which has changed from "arms are the ornaments of men" before the 1975 war to a sit-in against the war when it broke out. Another example is Saeb Salam's support of Bashir Gemayel, and then Amin al-Gemayel as candidates for the presidency. The extreme example of it is being offered by Kamal Jumblatt's transformation from an 'isolationist' Lebanonist into a radical leader against 'political Maronitism', and by his son Walid who passed, though in an opposite direction, through the same two stages.
This is because politics, as against ruptures, continued to link the different sects each to the others, while their positions, although seemingly crystallized and solid, continued to address each other. But this does not apply to Hezbollah, whose absolute support to Iran drew a negative, erroneous and unfair picture of the Shiites without distinction.
The Shiite party has a demand that no normal society or sovereign country would yield to; the demand stipulates to adopt resistance as the only method to free a land that had already been freed before. In addition, let's refer here to a book by Sheikh Naim Kassem entitled 'Hezbollah: the Methodology, the Experience and the Future' published in Beirut by Dar al-Huda press in 2002, that is to say a decade after the party's participation in parliamentary elections that gave him the description 'Lebanese'.
The deputy secretary-general says that a religiously-responsible Muslim needs a religious guide from whom he draws religious rulings and a leader, a mentor, who sets up the general policies of the nation. He believes that a single person could be a reference and a leader at the same time "as was the case with Imam Khomeini… and Imam Khamenei after being chosen a leader".
However, the party adheres to three principles: Islam is the complete and comprehensive methodology, resisting the Israeli occupation is a must and that the "religious leader is the only leader… who draws general guidelines for the nation and whose orders must be obeyed." As to accepting the guardianship of this faqih leader, it is "a commandment and commitment for all those who are religiously responsible… because he is the leader according to Islam in general".
A religiously responsible Lebanese Muslim, then, must give his loyalty to the faqih leader, whose personal conduct may also be a source of reference. This leader-reference "could be an Iraqi, Iranian, a Lebanese, or Kuwaiti or of any other nationality… Imam Khomeini, as a leader for all Muslims, used to… draw the general guidelines for Muslims around the world". For this reason, Hezbollah, while discussing its possible participation in the 1992 parliamentary elections, "sought the fatwa of Imam Khamenei, may Allah protects him, about participation in parliamentary elections… he allowed and supported it. Then, the decision to take part in the parliamentary elections was made", according to Kassim.
May God guide General Michel Aoun to the right path, under the guardianship of this Faqih supreme leader.
The World Council of the Cedars Revolution
Representing the hopes and aspirations of many millions of Lebanese throughout the Diaspora
Feb 13th, 2004
Terrorist attacks against civilian buses in Lebanon
The World Council for the Cedars Revolution, in view of the Terrorist attacks against civilian buses in Lebanon, in view of the fact that Lebanon's national security is now openly endangered, and that its civil society is attacked by Terrorists; in view of the fact that over the past weeks, several breaches in the country's security have been taken place; and in view of the fact that the Lebanese borders with Syria have been penetrated by Terrorists who are sending weapons and operatives to domestic networks;
And reacting to the murder and wounding of several civilians riding today's buses in the Matn area; the World Council for the Cedars Revolution, in consultation with the Lebanese International Committee for UNSCR 1559, demands from the Prime Minister of Lebanon the following:
1) To remove the Minister of Defense Mr. Elias Murr from the cabinet on the basis of failure in providing sound national security measures and replace him with another member of Government.
2) To ask the command of the UNIFIL, under UNSCR 1701, to deploy units along the Lebanese Syrian borders, where the breach is happening, and including at all points of entrance.
3) To ask the joint operation room established by UNSCR 1701 between the UNIFIL and the Lebanese Army to present a new plan for national security, to protect the country and its civil society from Terrorism.
4) To ask the joint operation room between the UNIFIL and the Lebanese Army to conduct a thorough investigation of the Terror attacks against the civilian buses and determine the criminal sources of these barbarous acts.
The WCCR and the ILC 1559 will follow up on these demands with a series of contacts with international instances.
Tom Harb/Secretary General
Suicide Bombers Believed Responsible For Lebanese Bus Attacks Killing Three
February 13, 2007 10:38 a.m. EST
Ayinde O. Chase - All Headline News Staff
Beirut, Lebanon (AHN) - Three people were killed on Tuesday when explosions ripped through two buses headed north of Beirut.
According to reports from the scene the blasts occurred in the predominantly Christian village of Ein Alaq, located south of the town of Bikfaya. Lebanese civil defense sources report at least 20 people were injured. Video footage of the devastation showed ambulances transporting the injured, wreckage from one bus with its roof completely blown off, and blood spatterings covering most surfaces and pooling on the ground.
Lebanese president Emile Lahoud denounced the explosions, saying they were intended to undermine peace efforts between bitterly split domestic factions: the pro-American government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, made up of Hariri's allies, and the opposition, led by Hezbollah, the Shiite guerrilla group backed by Iran and Syria. "Every time the Lebanese seem close to an agreement, enemies of Lebanon commit another crime," Lahoud said in a statement. According to reports from security officials at the scene, the first bomb, filled with metal pellets, exploded on one bus about 9 am local time, causing damage and casualties. However, 10 minutes later in a stroke of terror - as people rushed to provide aid and support to the injured - a second explosion tore through a second bus that had arrived behind the first.
Guardian Unlimited reports Katina Shibli was driving on the road ahead of the first bus when she heard the blast. "We stopped immediately, I rushed to help," she said. "The traffic backed up quickly, when within 10 minutes the other explosion happened."
The Interior Minister, Hassan al-Sabaa, said early information was that the bombs had exploded inside the buses.
"We ran away when the second explosion occurred for fear of more," said Genevieve Hayek in an AP report. Hayek is the owner of a nearby snack bar who is in her 70s. "May God's wrath fall on all of them who did this. What is the fault of the people just going to work?"
Amin Gemayel, the president during Lebanon's civil war, told Voice of Lebanon that "alien hands" were behind the explosions. "Lebanese do not kill Lebanese," he said. The Voice Of Lebanon radio station said the targeted buses were driving people to work and are known to pass in 10-minute intervals, transporting people from Christian mountain villages to the coastline and Beirut.
Arab League chief condemns Lebanon bombings
CAIRO, Feb 13 (KUNA) -- Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa has condemned two bomb explosions in Lebanon Tuesday morning, leaving scores of people killed or injured. In a news release, circulated by the league office in Cairo, Moussa stressed the importance of safeguarding Lebanon's national unity and creating national reconciliation. However, he voiced hope that the Tuesday bomb explosions would not affect Arab efforts to resolve the Lebanese cul-de-sac. The Arab League chief called on all Lebanese political forces to bear national responsibility by precluding confrontations that would undermine Lebanon's national unity. Two bombs have exploded minutes apart near the Lebanese capital, killing three people and wounding 20 others. The casualties were travelling on two buses near Bikfaya, a mainly Christian town in the hills north of Beirut. The bombings come at a time of acute political tension in Lebanon, and a day before the second anniversary of the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. (end) mfm.
Terror Attack Takes Aim at Civilians in Lebanon
Bryan Denton for The New York Times
By NADA BAKRI and JON ELSEN
Published: February 13, 2007
BEIRUT, Feb. 14 — Terrorism took a significant turn for the worse here today as three people were killed and 19 wounded in two bus bombings, the first attacks aimed at random civilians here in many years. While there have been civilian deaths from assassinations and clashes, today’s attack was the first since the end of the Lebanese civil war in 1990 that was intended primarily to cause casualties and sow terror among the general population.
The explosions, in the mainly Christian province of Metn, touched off fear that sectarian tensions would broaden into a wider and more deadly conflict.
The bombings came the day before the second anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. They struck public commuter buses that can hold about 20 people. A senior politician speculated that the blasts were meant to scare people away from a rally planned for Wednesday to commemorate Mr. Hariri. Plans for that event have heightened sectarian tensions in Lebanon and highlighted its political paralysis, according to the Associated Press. A police spokesman said that the report of three deaths in the bombings was preliminary and the toll could rise, according to Reuters. It was not known why that province was chosen as the target, and no group immediately claimed responsibility.
Sectarian clashes have been on the rise in Lebanon in recent years, as tensions have mounted between the pro-American government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and the opposition, led by Hezbollah, the Shiite guerrilla group backed by Iran and Syria. Lebanon has witnessed 15 attacks on politicians, journalists and public places since Mr. Hariri’s death on Feb. 14, 2005. Street clashes last month between supporters and opponents of the government, in which nine people were killed, have raised tensions even higher. Today’s attack took place on a road in the village of Ein Alaq, just south of the town of Bikfaya, some 30 miles northeast of the Lebanese capital. The first explosion was followed five minutes later by a second. The known deaths were two men and a woman. Despite the attacks, there were no plans to cancel Wednesday’s rally, organizers told the A.P. Senior government, military and security officials were meeting today to consider ways to keep the demonstration from turning violent.
President Emile Lahoud denounced the explosions, saying they were aimed to deepen the nation’s divide, the A.P. reported. The buses that were attacked run in 10-minute intervals, ferrying people from Christian mountain villages to the coastline and Beirut. Bikfaya is the ancestral home of the Gemayel family, one of the most prominent Christian political clans in Lebanon. Pierre Gemayel, a Cabinet member, was assassinated in November; his uncle, Bashir Gemayel, was elected President in 1982 but was assassinated before he could take office. Pierre’s father, Amin Gemayel, served in his place; he visited the White House and met with President Bush last week. The bus attacks today were the first terror attacks reported since the assassination of Pierre Gemayel, and there had been signs that a deal was near to end the political crisis. Amin Gemayel, who was president during much of Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, told the Voice of Lebanon radio channel that “alien hands” were behind the explosions. “Lebanese do not kill Lebanese,” he said. The United States embassy in Beirut said in a statement: “The attack can only be seen as an attempt to silence and intimidate those determined to realize their vision of a sovereign, independent and democratic Lebanon.”
Buses targeted in Lebanon attacks
SAM F. GHATTAS
BEIRUT — Explosions tore through two buses travelling on a highway Tuesday near a mountain town northeast of Beirut, and at least three people were killed and 20 wounded, the country's state-run news agency said. A security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to media, said a bomb first exploded in one bus, causing damage and casualties. As people rushed to the scene, a second explosion ripped through a second bus that had driven up behind it, the official said. The explosions come at a time of increased sectarian tensions in Lebanon, and one day before the second anniversary of the slaying of former prime minister Rafik Hariri. A mass rally had been planned for Wednesday in downtown Beirut to mark the second anniversary of the slaying. The 9:15 a.m. blast occurred on a road in the village of Ein Alaq, just south of the town of Bikfaya in the mainly Christian province of northern Metn, some 50 kilometres northeast of the Lebanese capital.
Ein Alaq is near Bikfaya, the ancestral home of the Gemayel family, a prominent political Christian family in Lebanon. Pierre Gemayel, a cabinet member, was assassinated in November. His father, former president Amin Gemayel, visited the White House and met with President George W. Bush last week.
Lebanon's state-run news agency said at least three had died and 20 were wounded. But an exact casualty was not yet available from officials, who said the dead and wounded may have been taken to various hospitals. Red Cross operations chief George Ketanneh told the Voice of Lebanon radio station that so far his team had counted three dead in two hospitals. He added that many of the wounded were in serious condition. Mr. emayel, the president during Lebanon's civil war, told the same radio station that "alien hands," were behind the explosions. "Lebanese do not kill Lebanese."
Ambulances, their sirens wailing, sped up the mountain road. The blasts happened during a thunderstorm. Troops in military uniforms and army buses also were at the scene. Television footage showed at least one destroyed bus and ambulances carrying away people. Blood pooled in several places. In the heavy rain, the buses lay some 30 metres apart, one with its roof blown off. Troops and police using sniffer dogs quickly sealed off the area and blocked the highway, a usually busy road linking Christian towns in the mountains with the capital. The Voice of Lebanon radio stations said the buses were carrying people to work. The explosions took place in the Christian heartland as have most of the bombings and shootings that have rocked Lebanon since the Hariri assassination, targeting anti-Syrian politicians and journalists.
12 dead in explosions near Beirut
By AP AND JPOST.COM STAFF
BEIRUT, Lebanon-Feb. 13, 2007
Explosions tore through two buses traveling on a highway in a Christian region northeast of Beirut killing at least 12 people and wounding 10 others, Lebanon's state-run news agency said.
A security official said the blasts took place just minutes apart. A bomb exploded on the first bus, causing damage and casualties, and as people rushed to the scene, a second explosion ripped through a second bus that drove up behind it, the official said. The explosions came at a time of increased sectarian tensions in Lebanon, and one day before the second anniversary of the slaying of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. A mass rally had been planned for Wednesday in downtown Beirut to mark the second anniversary of the slaying. The 9:15 a.m. blast occurred on a road in the village of Ein Alaq, just south of the town of Bikfaya in the province of northern Metn, some 20 kilometers northeast of the Lebanese capital. Television footage showed at least one bus totally destroyed and ambulances carrying away people. Blood was pooled in several places near the bus wreckage. Troops in military uniforms and army buses were also at the scene. The explosions took place in the town of Ein Alaq near the town of Bikfaya, the ancestral home of the Gemayel family, a prominent political Christian family in Lebanon. Pierre Gemayel, a Cabinet member, was assassinated last November. The Lebanese news agency said the explosions had targeted the two buses as they were traveling on a highway near the town. The agency had few immediate details. Appeals for urgent blood donations were broadcast as ambulances rushed casualties to hospitals in the region and in Beirut. 'The Voice of Lebanon' radio station said the targeted buses were driving people to work.
Bus Explosions in Metn Claim Innocent Lives
Three people were killed and at least 20 others wounded when two explosions ripped through two minibuses traveling on a highway Tuesday in the Ain Alaq town in the northern Metn province, police and Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) sources said. The explosions come at a time tensions were running high with the Hizbullah-led Opposition holding an open-ended protest in downtown Beirut, and on the eve of the second anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. A mass rally had been planned for Wednesday in Martyrs' Square in downtown Beirut to commemorate the 2005 anniversary of Hariri's slaying. The 9:15 a.m. blasts occurred on a road in Ain Alaq, some 20 kilometers northeast of Beirut and just south of the town of Bikfaya, the ancestral home of the Gemayel family, a prominent political Christian family in Lebanon. Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel was assassinated last November.
Television footage showed at least one bus torn apart and ambulances carrying away people. Blood was pooled in several places near the bus wreckage.
State-run National News Agency (NNA) said earlier as many as 12 people were killed. But police sources and LRC officials said three people, including an Egyptian man , were killed and 20 others were wounded. Many other vehicles were also damaged in the twin blasts. A security official said the bombs, weighing two to three kilograms each, took place just minutes apart. The bomb exploded in the first bus, causing damage and casualties, and as people rushed to the scene, a second explosion ripped through a second bus that drove up behind it, the official said. Troops and police using sniffer dogs quickly sealed off the area and blocked the highway, a usually busy road linking Christian towns in the mountains with the capital.
In the heavy rain, the buses lay some 30 meters apart, the first with its roof twisted and its backside shattered completely. Appeals for urgent blood donations were broadcast as ambulances rushed casualties to Serhal and Bhanness hospitals in the region. The Voice of Lebanon radio station said the targeted buses were driving people to their work. Lebanon has been rocked by a wave of killings and attacks against prominent anti-Syrian figures since the killing of Hariri in a massive bombing on February 14, 2005.(Naharnet-AP-AFP) Beirut, 13 Feb 07, 10:13
Hariri: 'Terrorist' Bus Blasts Aimed at Disrupting Wednesday's Ceremonies
Parliament's majority leader Saad Hariri described Tuesday's twin bus bombings that left three people killed in the northern Metn town of Ain Alaq as a "cowardly terrorist attack" designed to disrupt ceremonies to commemorate his father's 2005 assassination. He said the attacks underscored the need for an international tribunal to try those suspected in the killing of former premier Rafik Hariri. Druze leader Walid Jumblat also said the explosions were meant to scare people away from Wednesday's rally. "It's to terrorize people who are willing to come to mark the second anniversary" of Hariri's death, he told Al Jazeera TV.
Nayla Moawad, a member of the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority, said: "This is another terrorist attempt to exert control over Lebanon with blood and repression." Three people were killed and at least 20 others wounded when two explosions ripped through two minibuses traveling on a highway in Ain Alaq, police and Lebanese Red Cross sources said. The blasts come on the eve of ceremonies to mark the second anniversary of the killing of five-time premier Hariri, the subject of a U.N. probe that has pointed the finger of blame at Syria. Syria, which has vehemently denied being involved in any of the attacks against its critics, has so far not responded to Tuesday's events.
Hariri's assassination in a massive bombing on February 14, 2005, was followed by a series of killings and attacks against other prominent anti-Syrian politicians and journalists. His killing triggered massive international pressure on Syria, which in April 2005 pulled its troops out of Lebanon after a 29-year military presence. President Emile Lahoud said the "massacre... is a clear attempt to foil all internal, regional and international efforts to achieve Lebanese national unity." "Every time the Lebanese seem close to an agreement, enemies of Lebanon commit another crime," Lahoud added.
Hizbullah MP Hassan Fadlallah said: "All the Lebanese feel that they are targets, and what happened was a harrowing crime that targeted civilians."
Former President Amin Gemayel, and father of slain Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel, told the Voice of Lebanon radio station that "alien hands" were behind the explosion. "Lebanese do not kill Lebanese."(Naharnet-AP-AFP) Beirut, 13 Feb 07, 14:17
France 'Horrified' by Bus Bombings
French President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday voiced horror over the twin bus bombings that killed three people in Ain Alaq in the northern Metn province.
"I am horrified and dismayed at the appalling attacks that took place this morning in Bikfaya. I condemn them in the clearest terms," Chirac wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Fouad Saniora. "By striking on the eve of the commemoration of the attack that claimed the lives of Rafik Hariri and his companions, these murderers are trying to plunge the whole of Lebanon back into violence."Bomb blasts tore through two minibuses in the town of Ain Alaq just south of Bikfaya, killing three people Tuesday morning a day before the deeply divided nation prepared to commemorate Hariri's murder two years ago. According to the French presidency, Chirac also spoke with Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir to express his condolences. French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy warned that those responsible of the "hateful and cowardly attack," "and of those of the past two years" will be brought to justice. "Faced with this new attempt to destabilize Lebanon, it is essential that the Lebanese people stick together to avoid falling into the trap that has been laid for them," he said in a statement.
He stressed France's solidarity with efforts to "preserve the stability, unity and sovereignty of Lebanon." Britain too condemned the deadly bus bombings, saying they were targeted to heighten tension at a politically sensitive time. "I utterly condemn the bombing of two buses this morning near Bikfaya, Mount Lebanon, which, as well as apparently being timed to indiscriminately kill civilians on their way to work, was clearly targeted to create further tension at a highly sensitive time," Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said in a statement. And she added: "I take this opportunity to reiterate Britain's support for all those in Lebanon working to promote national unity and making efforts to overcome the current political impasse through peaceful dialogue."(AFP-Naharnet) Beirut, 13 Feb 07, 13:12
Nasrallah Supports Revealing Truth in Hariri Murder
Hizbullah Leader Sayed Hassan Nasrallah wrote in an article to be published Wednesday that revealing the truth in the assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri has become a "unifying national demand."Excerpts of the article to be published by as-Safir newspaper were released by the state-run National News Agency. "The worst (act) that can be committed by some of us is to follow a path that would cover up the facts and identities of the criminals," Nasrallah wrote.Addressing Hariri on the second anniversary of his assassination, Nasrallah said he regretfully had to be absent from the ceremony to be organized at Beirut's Martyrs' square "because our sole guilt is that we had refused to make charges lacking evidence."
Hizbullah leads an open-ended protest since Dec. 1 to topple the Majority government of Premier Fouad Saniora, a close associate of the late Hariri.
Beirut, 13 Feb 07, 19:49
Truth and punishment
Arabs know excavation works not damaging mosque
Elyakim Haetzni Published: 02.12.07, 17:37 /
There's nothing like the Mugrabi Gate affair to prove the futility of the dream of reconciliation with the Arabs. After all, it is clear to all, even to Leftist Jews, that the Arabs know the truth, but this doesn't change a thing.
Sheikh Ra'ad Salah stood there at the excavation site – expressly outside the Temple Mount compound, far from the mosques – and shamelessly announced: "This is a crime. Israel is destroying part of the al-Aqsa Mosque."
"There's no excuse for the excavation works that are undermining the sacredness of Islam." I would have understood had the head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch said this, but it's surprising to hear King Abdullah of Jordan, a sought-after and beloved partner who knew about the excavations in advance, saying so. How can he accuse us of something he knows isn't true, and that we know that he knows? And what does Olmert say to himself when Mahmoud Abbas, who received funds, arms and kisses from him, when Abbas attacked Israel "for changing the character of the place and making it Jewish" – when even he knows the truth.
This false protest is consciously backed by countries such as Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan – all described by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni as "moderate Arab states with whom we not only share the same values but also the same interests." How will Livni explain that her new friends are now setting her up?
Slap in the face from Siniora
This question should concern the peace camp, because it is seeking to mortgage our future against the words and signatures of such people and regimes. Either the "partners" have remained enemies within, or despite them being "moderate" they are being pressured by their people to attack. Either way, the result is the same; we shall surrender the heart of our country, threaten our security, and risk a civil war in exchange for a commitment that is worthless.
Olmert received a similar slap in the face from Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who is presenting the deployment of troops in the south of Lebanon as an "achievement" of the last war. Even Siniora was informed of the plan to carry out excavation works in our sovereign territory, and knowing the truth he sent his army to fire at us and condemn us for our "Israeli aggression."
The new Arab colleagues are no different than Arafat, who also knew that the Western wall Tunnel and Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount did not undermine the mosques, yet despite this, with cold cynicism, he turned both these incidences into a casus belli for two wars.
The defense minister, who is folding under anti-truth terror, is reminiscent of Katherina in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew.
I say it is the moon that shines so bright.
I know it is the sun that shines so bright.
Now by my mother's son, and that's myself,
It shall be moon, or star, or what I list,
Or ere I journey to your father's house.
Go on and fetch our horses back again.
Evermore cross'd and cross'd; nothing but cross'd!
Say as he says, or we shall never go.
Forward, I pray, since we have come so far,
And be it moon, or sun, or what you please;
And if you please to call it a rush-candle,
Henceforth I vow it shall be so for me.
I say it is the moon.
I know it is the moon.
Nay, then you lie; it is the blessed sun.
Then, God be bless'd, it is the blessed sun;
But sun it is not, when you say it is not;
And the moon changes even as your mind.
What you will have it nam'd, even that it is,
And so it shall be so for Katherine.