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UN Security Council slams bomb attack in Beirut

(Xinhua)

15:06, October 20, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- UN Security Council on Friday strongly condemned a fatal car bomb explosion in the heart of Lebanon's capital Beirut, calling it a "terrorist attack."

"The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of this heinous act and to the people and government of Lebanon," said a statement released to the press here by Guatemala's Permanent UN Representative Gert Rosenthal, whose delegation holds the Council' s rotating presidency for this month.

The 15-nation body reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, "regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed."

"The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations," said the statement.

Wissam El Hassan, a senior Lebanese security official, and eight others were killed in the car bomb explosion in eastern Beirut, media reports said.

More than 80 people were injured in the explosion, the first of its kind in Beirut since 2008.

The bombing came amid heightened tensions and rifts in Lebanon, where religious sects are divided between those supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and those backing the opposition trying to force him out.

In the statement, the Security Council underlined the need to bring the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of this crime to justice, expressing their determination to support the efforts and the commitment of the government of Lebanon to this end.

The council members also reiterated their unequivocal condemnation of any attempt to destabilize Lebanon through political assassinations and demanded an immediate end to the use of intimidation and violence against political figures.

"They appealed to all Lebanese people to preserve national unity in face of such attempts to undermine the country's stability and called upon all Lebanese parties to continue engaging in the National Dialogue reconvened under the authority of President Sleiman to this effect," said the statement.

Meanwhile, the Council underlined the importance of full respect for Lebanon's sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and the authority of the Lebanese State in accordance with Security Council resolutions.

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