Deadly blasts have rocked the Lebanese city of Tripoli, killing at least 40 people and injuring hundreds of civilians.
Reports say bombs hit two mosques and brought terror among the residents who were reportedly finishing Friday prayers in the Sunni Muslim city.
The blasts in the Lebanese city came a week after a devastating car bomb killed at least 20 people in a part of Beirut.
US condemns the attack
In a press statement issued by Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf, the US government strongly condemned the terrorist bombings at the al-Taqwa and al-Danawi mosques in Tripoli, Lebanon.
“We extend our deepest sympathies for those killed and concern for those wounded in today’s attack.” – Ms. Harf
Ms. Harf also urged all parties to exercise calm and restraint and to desist from actions that could contribute to an escalating cycle of retribution and violence.
The US reaffirms its firm commitment to a stable, sovereign, and independent Lebanon and supports the Lebanese government’s efforts to restore stability and security in the country.
Lebanon As Safe Refuge For Syrians
The turmoil in Syria is forcing more and more people from their homes, with 30,000 people believed to have fled Syria into neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq over the past week alone.
With a growing influx of civilians fleeing from conflict, the humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate.
Reports say up to 1.5 million Syrians are in need of assistance.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that civilians attempting to flee from the fighting need urgent assistance and protection.
OCHA reported that aid agencies continue to face significant access constraints to reaching people in need.
In addition, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that it needs additional funds of around $14 million for its response to the crisis in Syria. Along with its partners, UNICEF is providing assistance to Syrian children in need in areas such as health, nutrition, education and child protection.
The UN estimates that there are over 1 million Syrians inside Syria in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Of that number, an estimated 300,000 are internally displaced.
There are over 66,000 refugees in neighboring countries and there are existing refugees, Palestinian refugees, totaling about 500,000 inside Syria as well as a hundred thousand Iraqi refugees inside Syria.
The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 18,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.