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Lebanon mourns for Tripoli victims

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Lebanon mourns for the victims of bombings in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli as the death toll from the attack has risen to 47. Lebanese security authorities said on Saturday that some 300 people were taken to the hospital and another 200 people sustained minor injuries in the Friday bombings. They said that 65 of injured are in critical condition. Lebanon observes Saturday as a national mourning day for those killed in the attack that drew international condemnations. The first blast happened near the al-Taqwa Mosque at the city's Abu Ali Square as worshippers were leaving the mosque. The mosque is close to the home of outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati. The second explosion, which occurred about five minutes later, struck the al-Salam Mosque in the Mina district of the city. The mosque is close to the home of former police chief, Ashraf Rifi, a security source said. The explosions also destroyed many cars and damaged several buildings. Hezbollah resistance movement has condemned the terror attacks on mosques in Tripoli. Lebanese Grand Mufti Mohammed Rashid Qabbani also slammed the explosion, saying, "This terror act today is a conspiracy that is targeting all Lebanese, and instigating Sunnis to attack Shias and Shias to attack Sunnis, and igniting the fire of strife between them." United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the bombings, expressing hope that "those responsible for such cowardly acts of violence will be brought to justice as soon as possible." The European Union and the UN Security Council also censured the attacks. Tensions are running high in Tripoli, a city of nearly 200,000 people and Lebanon's second largest, since the beginning of unrest in the neighboring Syria. The city has witnessed deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over the past two years.



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