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BEIRUT: A bomb exploded Sunday at a church in the eastern town of Zahle, causing severe damage but injuring no one, in an act denounced by politicians and religious leaders as an attack on Lebanon’s stability.
A security source told The Daily Star that a device containing 2 kilograms of TNT exploded inside Saidat al-Najat church at 4.15 a.m. Sunday morning, in a detonation performed via cellphone.
“This is the first time this kind of bomb has been used [in Lebanon], whereby the individual can detonate the bomb from anywhere,” the source said.
The blast wrought extensive damage to the church, smashing windows and benches as well as blowing out a side door. The explosion was powerful enough to damage seven cars parked nearby. Sources said security forces were examining camera footage of the surrounding area and making attempts to obtain phone records in a bid to trace the culprits.
Military prosecutor Sami Sader visited the blast site and was briefed by security officials, who checked the church’s interior for fingerprints. A meeting was set up in the wake of the blast with religious figures and Zahle MPs, as well as caretaker Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud, who called on security services to be allowed to carry out thorough investigations.
Caretaker Culture Minister Selim Wardy, who hails from Zahle, visited the blast site Sunday to participate in Mass with a defiant congregation.
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=126488#ixzz1HuDhpZMv
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)
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