Gulf bloc condemns Lebanon's Shia suburb bombing

AFP , Saturday 17 Aug 2013

Gulf Arab states condemn Beirut bombing Thursday that left 22 dead, describing it as a ‘criminal and disgraceful act’

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has condemned the car bombing that ripped through a stronghold of Lebanon's Shia movement Hizbullah in Beirut, killing at least 22 people.

"This criminal and disgraceful act is an attack on Lebanon's security and stability," GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayani said in a statement late Friday.

Thursday's bombing at the heart of the densely populated Shia southern suburbs of Beirut also targets "Lebanon's peaceful cohabitation, through sowing sedition" among its various confessions, Al-Zayani said.

The Gulf bloc, which groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, imposed sanctions on Hizbullah in June over its military support for the Syrian regime against the mainly-Sunni rebels.

Al-Zayani urged Lebanese factions "not to give room to vandals, advocates of sedition and terrorists."

He said the GCC stands by Lebanon's side "against all that threatens its stability," offering condolences to the families of the dead.

A previously unknown group, the Battalion of Aisha, said it carried out the attack which also wounded 325 people.

On Friday, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah blamed takfiris (fundamentalist Sunni militants) for the attack.

The blast came six weeks after a car bomb exploded in a nearby neighbourhood, wounding more than 50 people.

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