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tripoli explosionTwo powerful explosions rocked Tripoli, the main city in northern Lebanon, a few minutes apart, Friday, August 23, causing several casualties reported the Lebanese security services.

At least seven people were killed according to security sources.

The first explosion occurred in the city center, near the house of the outgoing Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who was not in the city, according to his office.

The second took place near the port of this great city with a Sunni majority, according to the National News Agency. Both explosions occurred near mosques after Friday prayers, according to officials quoted by the AP agency.

This is a breaking News more to follow

Update: Caretaker Finance Minister Mohammed al-Safadi who also represents Tripoli in the parliament urged via LBCI all sides to exercise restraint in light of the Tripoli blasts.

Future TV reported that Several bodies were transported to the Islamic hospital in Tripoli.

MTV reported that Security forces have cordoned off the areas where the Tripoli explosions took place.

LBCI reported that Caretaker PM Miqati cut short his family vacation to return to Lebanon.

Al-Arabiya reported that at least 7 people were killed and dozens were wounded in the Tripoli explosions.

National News Agency reported that the death toll rose to 12

Voice of Lebanon reported that at least 70 people were wounded in the Tripoli attacks.

Future Movemnt bloc MP Atef Majdalani told Voice of Lebanon (93.3): “Those behind the Tripoli attacks want to create strife in Lebanon. We have repeatedly warned that Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria will yield such results.”

Former ISF chief Ashraf Rifi said: “We are in the heart of the storm…we either have to be up to this responsibility or the country will explode in all of us, and as long as the reasons are there the danger will remain so we have to know how to deal with this for very well known reasons”.

Rifi told MTV: It’s too soon to tell if the explosion was caused by a bomb or a booby-trapped car, but stressed that there’s an attempt to ethnically divide Lebanon.

Former MP Dr.Mustafa Alloush told MTV:” I am at a hospital in the emergency section helping in treating the wounded . There is no doubt that the disaster is huge and a real catastrophe has hit the city of Tripoli. Everything around me reminds me of the civil war . We have already received 6 martyrs at this hospital and 35 wounded, some in critical condition and we decided to close the emergency section because of the inability of the hospital to receive any more victims. We have directed the ambulances to other hospitals”

Alloush added: “The primarily responsibility for this situation is the presence of a militia called “Hezbollah” that has been provoking the people over the past years.”

Over 60 cars were damaged by the explosions and some are still burning

Crater created by the bomb explosion in front of the the al  al Salam Mosque in Tripoli  August 23, 2013
The crater created by the bomb explosion in front of the   al Salam Mosque in Tripoli August 23, 2013 was five meters wide and 2.5 meters deep.

Islamist cleric Sheikh Salem al-Rafehi told Al-Jazeera:” Some security officials had warned me of an assassination attempt.”

Islamist cleric Bilal Diqmaq told MTV: “Nasrallah ( Hezbollah chief) announced that bombings will target everyone . Michel Samaha’s scheme is still ongoing and today it was implemented in Tripoli.”

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