Lebanon wary of Syrian role in bombings

Sept. 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A judicial official in Lebanon said Wednesday an arrest warrant is pending for a Syrian officer connected to deadly bombings in the northern city of Tripoli.

More than 45 people were killed and at least 500 were wounded in car bombings in front of Sunni mosques in the northern city of Tripoli last month.

Last week, a security source told The Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon one of the suspects, Ahmad Gharib, told his interrogators the attacks were "directly planned by Syrian intelligence." The newspaper said Wednesday arrest warrants are expected for an unnamed Syrian intelligence officer and another Syrian man suspected of playing a role in the attack.

A court ordered suspect Hashem Minqara, a clerical supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad, released Wednesday. He was charged with withholding information about the Tripoli bombing.

The British government issued a travel alert Friday advising against travel to areas along the Lebanese border with Syria, citing a risk of anti-Western sentiment.

Violence in Lebanon has increased since Hezbollah acknowledged this year it was fighting alongside pro-government forces in Syria. Lebanon broke free of Syrian dominance after the Cedar Revolution in 2005, though Syria's civil war threatens to ensnare the country as violence spills over the border.

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