By Brittani Howell
Impunity Watch Reporter, The Middle East
BEIRUT, Lebanon – At least 43 people were killed on Thursday when two suicide bombers attacked Lebanon’s capital. More than 200 people were wounded in the attacks. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, however Lebanon’s government has made no conformation.
Lebanese Interior Minister, Nohad Machnouk, announced on Sunday that seven Syrians and two Lebanese suspects had been arrested for allegedly planning the terrorist attacks. According to Machnouk, the attackers had originally planned to strike a hospital in Rasoul al-Azam. The plan changed because of tight security in the hospital.
The two blasts on Thursday, occurred almost simultaneously, striking a Hezbollah Shi’ite community center and a nearby bakery in Borj al-Barajneh. Borj al-Baranjneh is a residential and commercial area. Allegedly, a bike loaded with explosives was detonated and when people gathered around the explosion a suicide bomber blew himself up in the group of people.
“They targeted civilians, worshippers, women and the elderly. It only targeted those innocent people. This is a Satanic, terrorist act, carried about by apostates,” Bilal Farhat told Associated Press.
Abdullah Jawad stated, “The government can’t protect us.” He continued, “They can’t even pick up the trash from the streets.” Lebanon’s government has been in a stalemate and as a result have been unable to resolve electricity and water shortages or the collapse of garbage collection.
Those in Lebanon were shocked over the weekend to hear about the attacks in France, as they considered that country safer than Lebanon. But the feelings of solidarity were also mixed with anguish that only one of the two cities had received global sympathy. A doctor in Lebanon wrote, “When my people died, no country bothered to light up its landmarks in the colors of their flag.”
The attacks in Paris may also lead European countries to close their doors to asylum seekers. One of the Paris attackers had posed as a refugee seeking asylum in order to get into Paris. A spokesman for the Syrian Canadian Council, Faisal Alazem, stated, “This is the sort of terrorism that Syrian refugees have been fleeing by the millions.”
For more information, please see:
Associated Press – Lebanon Detains 7 Syrian, 2 Lebanese Terror Suspects – 15 November 2015
The New York Times – Beirut, Also the Site of Deadly Attacks, Feels Forgotten – 15 November 2015
Reuters – Lebanon Arrests Five Syrians, One Palestinian Suspect in Beirut Bombings: Security Source – 14 November 2015
CNN – Beirut Suicide Bombings: Why Lebanon and What’s Next? – 13 November 2015
BBC News – Beirut Attacks: Suicide Bombers Kill Dozens in Shia Suburb – 12 November 2015