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UN: terrorist act in Beirut signifies dangerous rise of violence in Lebanon

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the latest terrorist act near the offices of the Shiite Islamic militant group Hezbollah in Beirut on Thursday, January 2, and said it signified a dangerous rise of violence in Lebanon.

"The Secretary-General strongly condemns today's car bombing in the southern Beirut suburb of Haret Hreik that has killed and wounded a number of people. He extends his condolences to the families of the victims and to the people of Lebanon and wishes those injured a swift recovery," Ban's spokesperson said.

This act follows the terrible bombing on December 27, 2013, and further reflects "a deeply worrying escalation in the violence" witnessed in Lebanon in recent months, he said.

The Secretary-General called on all Lebanese parties to act with restraint and for the Lebanese people to come together to support the institutions of the state, particularly the army and security forces, as they work to prevent other acts of terrorism and to safeguard the stability and security of their country.

Ban also underlined the need for the instigators and perpetrators of this crime to be brought to justice as soon as possible.

According to preliminary reports, five persons were killed and at least 20 injured when a bomb hidden in a car went off in the densely-populated Haret Hreik quarter, the Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut. The terrorist attack carried out by a suicide bomber during the rush hour when the nearby road was full of cars.

The terrorist attack took place two days after the arrest of Majid bin Muhammad al-Majid, the head of the Al Qaeda-related Sunni extremist group Abdullah Azzam Brigades. He had been traced by the military intelligence services and seized in the Beqaa Valley on his way back from Syria.

The Abdullah Azzam Brigades are responsible for the terrorist act near the Iranian Embassy on October 19, 2013, which killed 23 people and injured 146.

Al-Majid, a national of Saudi Arabia, is on the list of 85 terrorists wanted by its authorities, U.S., Arab and Western security services.

None of the Shiite politicians was injured or killed by the bomb blast.

[Source: Itar Tass, United Nations, 02Jan14]

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