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Restraint called for in Lebanon after latest car bombing

This news story was published on January 4, 2014.
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NEW YORK – The United Nations on Thursday called on all parties in Lebanon to show restraint following the second deadly car bomb attack in less than a week, and to support the army and security forces as they seek to prevent further acts of terrorism.

“This act follows the terrible bombing on 27 December and further reflects a deeply worrying escalation in the violence witnessed in Lebanon in recent months,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

The Security Council issued a press statement reaffirming that “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.”

Several people were killed or injured when the car bomb ripped through the southern Beirut suburb of Haret Hreik. Last Friday, a car bomb in the centre of the capital killed former minister Mohammad Chattah and at least five others, an attack that Mr. Ban and the Council said underlined the need to protect Lebanon’s stability in the face of such terrorism and the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

“The Secretary-General calls 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,” Mr. Ban said in today’s statement.

“The Secretary-General underlines the need for the instigators and perpetrators of this crime to be brought to justice as soon as possible.”

In its statement, which echoed the call for justice, the Council appealed to all Lebanese people to “preserve national unity in the face of attempts to undermine the country’s stability and stressed the importance for all Lebanese parties to respect Lebanon’s policy of disassociation and to refrain from any involvement in the Syrian crisis.”

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled to Lebanon in the almost three years of violence that erupted when originally peaceful protesters demonstrated for President Bashar al-Assad to leave power, and various Lebanese factions have been implicated is supporting different sides in the resulting Syrian civil war.

UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly voiced outrage that this was the fourth bomb to explode in Beirut’s southern suburbs since July and stressed the importance of bringing to justice those responsible for this and all other such acts of terrorism.

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