Hariri warns Lebanon Sunnis not to join al-Qaeda

Hariri warns Lebanon Sunnis not to join al-Qaeda
Sun Jan 26, 2014 09:01:04

Former Lebanese premier Saad Hariri has said Lebanon's Sunni Muslims refuse to be a part of any al-Qaeda group, denouncing sectarian attacks on civilians anywhere in the country.

Hariri's Saturday statement came a day after an extremist group warned that all areas where Hezbollah movement operates are "legitimate targets", telling Sunnis to avoid them.

It also came as new shelling from across the border hit the Hermel and Masharia al-Qaa areas of Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, causing no casualties. Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon and another extremist group claimed responsibility for the shelling.

"The Lebanese, and the Sunnis among them, refuse to be part of any war in Lebanon or the region between Hezbollah and al-Qaeda," said Hariri, who heads the anti-Syrian Future bloc.

"They also refuse that the civilians in any region of Lebanon become the targets," he added.

On Friday, al-Nusra Front in Lebanon, a group with links to al-Qaeda, described Hezbollah's "bases and bastions" as "legitimate targets".

It claimed responsibility of a car bomb attack in Beirut's southern suburbs on Tuesday that killed four people.

It was the sixth in a string of terrorist attacks targeting areas dominated by Hezbollah.

Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon -- believed to be the local franchise of Syria's al-Nusra Front -- had previously claimed responsibility for a car bombing in Hermel in eastern Lebanon, which killed three people.

Also on Saturday, another salvo of shells hit the Bekaa Valley, which has suffered frequent cross-border assaults.

“Eight shells hit the outskirts of Hermel, while one landed inside the town, causing material damage to vehicles and houses,” a security source said. “Three mortar rounds also struck the outskirts of Masharia al-Qaa east of Hermel.”

Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon and the Marwan Hadid brigades, another extremist group, claimed responsibility for the latest attacks.


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