World Bulletin/News Desk
Lebanese Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said on Sunday that preliminary information on two attacks that hit the northern city of Tripoli on Saturday refer to the involvement of the ISIL militant group.
"The crisis will continue to exist here as long as the conflict continues to rage in Syria," Machnouk said following a security meeting in Tripoli.
"Preliminary information show that ISIL has been behind the two attacks," he told the media.
The Interior Minister said Saturday's attackers might be connected with a suicide bomber who blew himself up at a Beirut hotel last year.
The attack, which took place on June 25 of 2014, left seven civilians and four policemen injured.
The Lebanese army on Sunday detained three men for interrogation against the background of the attacks that rocked the Tripoli.
The three men used to have "friendship" relations with the two suicide bombers who carried out the attacks in Tripoli's Jebel Mohsen neighborhood on Saturday, according to the official Lebanese news agency.
Fatalities from the two Saturday attacks rose to 11, a Lebanese medical source said earlier Sunday. He added that 50 more people were injured.
Al-Nusra Front, one of several militant movements fighting against the regime in neighboring Syria, on Saturday claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Jebel Mohsen has been the site of sporadic armed clashes between its residents and the inhabitants of the predominantly Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood, which is located in close proximity.
On Sunday, tight security was imposed in Jebel Mohsen, especially with the arrival of the bodies of the victims of the two attacks for burial.
Soon after Saturday's attacks, the Shiite Lebanese movement Hezbollah called on the residents of Jebel Mohsen not to react violently.
"Stand united and be patient," the Shiite movement said in a statement, addressing the residents of Jebel Mohsen.
"You should not launch into reaction that might achieve the mean objectives of the criminals," it added.
Hezbollah said the whole of Lebanon was in danger, regardless of the religious affiliation of each neighborhood.
It added that targeting Tripoli at this particular juncture only aimed to sow the seeds of tension in the northern Lebanese city.
Lebanon has in recent months run into the Syrian quagmire when Al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, another militant organization fighting in Syria, engaged in deadly clashes with the Lebanese army in the eastern town of Arsal and captured several troops.
The two militant groups have repeatedly criticized Shiite Hezbollah group's ongoing military support for Bashar al-Assad's Alawite-dominated regime in Syria.Last Mod: 11 Ocak 2015, 17:20