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Beirut attacks dampen Lebanese spirit

Aug. 2, 2013 at 1:58 PM   |   Comments

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Lebanon's foreign minister said Friday terrorist organizations were starting to take their toll on the nation's state of security.

The Lebanese military is working to determine who fired two rockets that struck near the presidential palace in Beirut. No injuries were reported in the attack late Thursday attack.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said Friday he was concerned about the country's national security.

"No doubt, Lebanon is in a circle of targeting by terrorist groups that undermine its security and its stability," he was quoted by the official National News Agency as saying. "We have to pay attention and be careful so as to be able to preserve security and stability."

The attack followed a speech from Lebanese President Michel Suleiman expressing concern about Hezbollah's weapons. The Shiite movement's military wing was listed as a terrorist organization in July by the European Union. Its political arm, however, remains influential in Beirut.

Hezbollah reacted angrily to Suleiman's speech. Its supporters say the weapons are needed to deter Israel though the group has been criticized for fighting alongside pro-government forces in the Syrian civil war.

No group took responsibility for Thursday's attack.

Hezbollah was implicated in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The U.N. Special Tribunal said Friday a trial against Hezbollah suspects would begin Jan. 13.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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