The UN Security Council has strongly condemned the Friday terrorist attack in Beirut that killed a top-ranking Lebanese security official and urged Lebanese people to maintain unity in the face of attempts to destabilize the country.
Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, the intelligence chief of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces, and seven others were killed on Friday in a massive car bomb blast, which occurred in Ashrafiya, a predominantly Christian district in East Beirut.
More than 80 others were injured, according to local media.
“The members of the Security Council reiterated their unequivocal condemnation of any attempt to destabilize Lebanon through political assassinations and demanded an immediate end to the use of intimidation and violence against political figures,” the Security Council press statement said.
“They appealed to all Lebanese people to preserve national unity in the face of such attempts to undermine the country’s stability and called upon all Lebanese parties to continue engaging in the National Dialogue reconvened under the authority of President Sleiman to this effect,” the document said.
There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, the first car bombing in Beirut in four years, but former Lebanese prime minister and current opposition leader Saad Hariri was quick to blame Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for the bombing.
Even before yesterday’s bombing, the conflict in Syria, which has dragged on for 19 months, had divided Lebanon into two camps: those who support Assad’s regime, such as the militant Shiite group Hezbollah and its allies, and those who oppose it, including the Hariri-led March 14 coalition.
The Security Council underlined the need to bring the perpetrators and those behind the attack to justice, and expressed its determination “to support the efforts and the commitment of the Government of Lebanon to this end.”