47 Killed, Over 500 Wounded as North Lebanon Bombs Target Mosques

No Claims of Responsibility After Attack on Sunni Mosques

by Jason Ditz, August 23, 2013

At least 47 people are dead and over 500 others are wounded tonight after a pair of bombings targeted major Sunni mosques in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, a city which has been at the center of a lot of sectarian fighting in recent months.

So far there has been no claim of responsibility for the attacks, and while one of the mosques is directly next to the home of Prime Minister Najib Miqati, he was not in the city at the time and it isn’t clear if he was an intended targeted.

The attack comes just a week after a car bombing targeting a Shi’ite neighborhood in southern Beirut killed 24 people, and could also be an attempt at “retaliation” for that strike, though Hezbollah has publicly condemned today’s attacks and is urging calm.

A lot of Tripoli’s sectarian violence is direct spillover from the Syrian civil war, as the city’s population, much like Syria’s, is predominantly Sunni with an Alawite minority. This usually amounts to exchanges of gunfire in between the two sect’s respective neighborhoods, however, and major bombings are extremely unusual, and would be a huge escalation if it ends up being part of the city’s ongoing fighting.

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