24 Aug 2013

Deadly bombs hit Tripoli mosques

9:35 am on 24 August 2013

Twin explosions outside two mosques in the Lebanese city of Tripoli have killed at least 42 people and wounded hundreds in apparently coordinated attacks.

The blasts struck as Friday prayers ended in the largely Sunni Muslim city.

The first explosion hit the Taqwa mosque, frequented by hardline Sunni Islamists, and the second blast came a few minutes later outside the al-Salam mosque.

The Interior Ministry says the car in the al-Salam attack was laden with 100kg of explosives.

A Reuters reporter at the scene says the crater from the blast was about four metres wide and 2.5 metres deep.

A 50 metre stretch of the road was charred black and the twisted remains of cars littered the area, Reuters reports.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the attacks and called for calm and restraint.

The blasts came a week after a huge explosion killed at least 24 people in a part of the capital Beirut controlled by the Shi'ite Muslim militant movement Hezbollah.

A recent resurgence of sectarian violence in Lebanon has been stoked by the war in adjacent Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad is fighting a largely Sunni-led rebellion and Hezbollah has sent fighters into combat on his side.