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Syrian Civil War Spills Over to Lebanon by More Suicide Bombings, More Torture of  Palestinians to Death in Syrian Prisons

June 24, 2014 

Suicide bomber targets army checkpoint in Beirut, June 24, 2014  


Suicide bomber targets army checkpoint in Beirut

France 24, June 24, 2014

A suicide bomber blew up his car near an army checkpoint in a predominantly Shiite area of the Lebanese capital on Monday night, killing himself and wounding several people watching a World Cup match in a nearby cafe.

The bombing came just three days after a failed attempt to kill one of the top security officials in Lebanon, which has suffered a wave of sectarian violence linked to the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

Monday’s explosion, which happened shortly before midnight local time, killed the bomber and injured at least 19 people, Lebanon’s civil defence force said.

"Twelve people were injured in a suicide attack at an army checkpoint," the National Information Agency (ANI) reported.

"It was a car bomb and there is a strong possibility that it was a suicide attack," a security source told AFP.

A witness told Lebanese television that he saw a white Mercedes car travelling fast on the wrong side of the road before exploding, shattering nearby windows.

There was no immediate word on any victims of the blast, but ambulances could be seen transporting some of the wounded.

Television footage from the scene showed the burning wreckage of a car, surrounded by damaged vehicles.

Spilling sectarian violence

The blast occurred in a mainly Shiite Muslim district of southern Beirut inhabited by supporters of the Shiite group Amal, an ally of the militant movement Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has been fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria against the mainly Sunni Muslim rebels, who have also been supported by Lebanese Sunnis.

The conflict has spilled over into sectarian violence in Lebanon, with rocket attacks on Shiite towns in the Bekaa Valley, close to the border with Syria, and bombings of Shiite and Sunni targets in Lebanon’s main coastal cities.

Security forces have been on high alert since a suicide bomber killed one person and wounded 37 near the Syrian border on Friday in an attack that narrowly missed Major General Abbas Ibrahim, head of Lebanon’s General Security department.

Hezbollah ‘won’t let’ ISIS spread in Lebanon

The latest violence in Lebanon comes after Sunni insurgents including the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) swept through north and west Iraq and pushing towards the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

"Terrorism seeks to undermine our unity," Hezbollah parliamentarian Ali Ammar told Al-Manar television.

"The Sunni extremists, after their defeat in Syria, are trying to open new fronts and what we are seeing in Iraq is not too different from what's happening in our country, but here the circumstances don't allow them to operate in the same fashion," he added. “Lebanon will not let ISIL spread here.”

One security source said before Monday night’s explosion that security forces were hunting for two potential suicide bombers in the Lebanese capital.


Number of Palestinians tortured to death in Syrian prisons on the rise

[ 24/06/2014 - 04:10 PM ]


The Palestinian refugee Muhammad Issa Abu Hassan was killed under torture in Syrian prisons after having been incarcerated for more than five months, the Action Group for the Palestinians of Syria reported n Monday.

According to a statement by the Action Group, 14 Palestinian refugees were killed under torture, bringing the total number of Palestinians tortured to death to 214.

Most of the bodies of the victims have not been handed over to their families, the Action Group reported, calling the Syrian authorities to update them about the fate of hundreds of detained Palestinian refugees, who have been missing so far.

“What is taking place inside of Syrian jails is a war crime by all standards,” the statement further pointed out.

In a related event, scores of Yarmouk refugees headed to al-Rija square since early morning hours hoping that the terms of the contract signed two days ago and ruling for uplifting of the blockade imposed on their camp would be implemented. But none of the agreements turned into reality.

A statement issued by a group of activists on behalf of the Yarmouk refugees urged all the signatories, including the Syrian state, to assume their allotted responsibilities vis-à-vis the implementation of the terms of the agreement.

The statement further called on for the need to press ahead with the implementation of the agreement so as to allow the Yarmouk refugees access out of and into the camp.

A wave of explosive barrels rocked the Daraa camp for Palestinian refugees, south of Syria, leading to a massive damage among the refugees’ homes.

A state of anxiety and panic has overwhelmed the Daraa refugees due to the heavy deployment of snipers around the alleys and streets of the camp. The area has been cordoned off leading to a remarkable restriction in people’s freedom of movement.

AL-Raml refugees have been subject to a serious economic crisis due to the remarkable exacerbation in the Syrian security affairs. Upsurges in food prices and unemployment rates, along with shortages in food items and fuel, have made the refugees’ living conditions quite unbearable at the camp.

A series of warplanes has been hovering around the Khan Al-Sheikh camp for Palestinian refugees in Damascene suburbs on Monday while blasts have been detected around the adjacent areas.

Living conditions at the Khan Al-Sheikh camp have become extremely dire due to the frequent economic crisis and cut-offs in electricity and telecommunication for long periods of time.

In a similar context, 30 Palestinian refugees in Syria, stopping-over Kerkouane’s Tourism School in Hammamet city, northeast of Tunisia, appealed to the Tunisian authorities to grant them temporary residence and free movement in the Tunisian territories.

The Tunisian airport authorities detained the Palestinian asylum-seekers at the International Carthage Airport and ruled for deporting them back to Beirut.

The Tunisian Ministry of the Interior granted the refugees one-month-residence permits following appeals made by several Tunisian and international human rights organizations and mass media.

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