2008 Tripoli, Lebanon bombing
|2008 Tripoli Lebanon car bombing|
|Date||September 29, 2008 (UTC+2)|
The 2008 Tripoli Lebanon car bombing occurred on September 29, 2008 in the morning in Tripoli, Lebanon targeting a military bus carrying soldiers, killing 7 and injuring 30 people. Lebanese officials said the blast came after a car parked by a busy roadside was detonated by remote control.
The attacks came on the heels of another in the city the preceding August; that attack killed 15 people including 10 soldiers. Two days previous came another attack, this one a bombing in neighbouring Syria. There was a quick chorus of condemnation and denunciation from local politicians, who said it was targeted at the army. Former Prime Minister of Lebanon Najib Mikati told a local radio station, "This is a direct targeting of the military institution."
Beginning in May, Tripoli saw some of its worst sectarian battles, pitting Sunni groups which support the Western-backed Lebanese Government against the Arab Democratic Party (ADP) of the city's Alawite community. ADP is a part of the opposition, and has close links to the Alawite-dominated regime in Damascus.
A formal reconciliation was reached in September, 2008, between the feuding factions in north Lebanon.
Rifaat Eid, the son of the leader of the ADP, accused Saudi Arabia of funding Salafi jihadists in north Lebanon, blaming them for the violence. "The Salafis are like kittens when they are weak, but when they are strong they are like tigers." Salafist leaders in Tripoli insisted that the threat of jihadist militancy is exaggerated. Sheikh Omar Bakri, a Salafist preacher, said "They say we are fanatics and cite what is happening in Iraq, but this is just propaganda to weaken the Sunnis in Lebanon."
In August, Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian President, gave warning that Islamic extremists were destabilising north Lebanon. Later, at the beginning of September, thousands of Syrian troops deployed along the north Lebanon border, triggering fears in Beirut of a possible military incursion.