Sunni insurgents target Alawite area in Lebanese Tripoli, casualties reported

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Two Alawite women mourn as they look from a window during the funeral procession of those who were killed in an overnight suicide bombing at a coffee shop in Jabal Mohsen

ARA News

Beirut, Lebanon – At least nine people were killed and 35 others injured in the Jabal Mohsen area in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, as Islamists of al-Nusra Front attacked a cafe of the Alawite area, local media activists reported on Sunday.  

The Al-Nusra Front (the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) declared that two of its militants, who were identified as Lebanese, carried out a suicide attack in Tripoli, targeting a coffee shop in the Jabal Mohsen area, “the Alawites zone”. 

“The Lebanese martyrs are Taha Kayal and Bilal Ibrahim, who were trained in Syria’s Kalamoon area and sent to Tripoli to perform the operation,” pro-Nusra activists tweeted.

The Lebanese official news agency reported that the death toll is not final as investigations continue in Jabal Mohsen. 

After Tripoli’s attacks, the Lebanese army surrounded the incident’s location and prevented people from passing by, while the bomb experts were summoned to inspect the location, and worked to reveal the circumstances and reasons behind it.

A security source pointed out that an explosion hit the cafe of al-Ashqar in Jabal Mohsen, saying that seven bodies were found, as well as the remaining parts of the other bodies.

Notably, between 2007 and 2014, 20 sporadic attacks and counter-attacks took place between the areas of Bab al-Tabana (Sunni majority) and Jabal Mohsen (Alawite majority) where al-Nusra fighters targeted and were able to kill and wound hundreds.

Since the start of the Syrian crisis in March 2011, the region has witnessed an escalating violence, where the Sunni majority in Lebanon tends to support the Syrian opposition, whereas the Alawite minority, which is centered in the northern part of Lebanon, tends to support the Syrian regime.

 

Reporting by: Salman Mohammed

Source: ARA News

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