The top United Nations envoy in Lebanon strongly condemned the bomb blast that targeted a south Beirut suburb today, injuring dozens of people at the start of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.
“Such cowardly acts of violence aim at destabilizing the country and spreading fear among the population and are completely unacceptable,” said a news release issued by the office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly.
“Lebanon's leaders and political parties should rally together against such threats to their country's security and stability and work to reinforce the role of Lebanon's State institutions.”
The explosion occurred this morning in a parking lot of a densely populated area in the suburb of Bir El-Abed. Media reports say around 50 people were wounded in the attack, for which no group has so far claimed responsibility.
Mr. Plumbly, who is scheduled to brief the Security Council later today in a closed-door meeting on Lebanon, conveyed his deep sympathies to those injured in the explosion and wished them a speedy recovery.
“The Special Coordinator hopes today's incident will be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice as soon as possible,” the news release added.
Following closed-door talks on Lebanon this afternoon, Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo of the United States, which holds the Council's presidency for the month, said the 15-member body had expressed its strong support for United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and all its troop-contributing countries.
She said that while the Council members had noted the relative calm along the Blue Line, they had also expressed deep concern at the marked increase in cross-border fire from Syria into Lebanon, as well as ongoing incursions, abductions and arms trafficking along the Syrian-Lebanese border.
She said that Council had also condemned today's bombing in Beirut and expressed the need to “speak with one voice” on matters regarding Lebanon's territorial integrity. The members had also expressed gratitude to the people and Government of Lebanon for accepting over 590,000 people who had fled the violence in Syria. They had also expressed need for international support to help Lebanon address humanitarian crisis sparked by the ongoing conflict in Syria.