AFP
Last updated: 30 August, 2013

Syrian army captain among 5 charged over Lebanon bombings

Five people, including a Syrian army captain, were charged on Friday over deadly attacks in the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli a week ago, a judicial source said.

Two Lebanese religious figures were also charged over the twin car bombs outside Sunni mosques on August 23, which killed 45 people in the bloodiest attack since Lebanon’s 15-year civil war ended.

Out of the accused, two Syrians — including a Captain Mohammed Ali — are charged with “having placed the two car bombs which killed people”, said the source, who declined to be named.

Neither of the two are currently in Lebanon, but if convicted, they face the death sentence.

The three others are Lebanese.

Sheikh Hashem Minkara, the head of al-Tawhid — a Sunni organisation close to the Syrian regime — is accused of having known about a “terrorist project and not having alerted authorities.” He faces three years in jail.

His deputy Sheikh Ahmed al-Gharib and a journalist who had previously done some freelance work for al-Manar, the television channel of the Shiite Hezbollah movement, are charged with having been “part of a terrorist cell that placed… car bombs which exploded” in front of the mosques.

The twin attacks — which also wounded hundreds — came just one week after a blast ripped through a densely populated Shiite area of Beirut, killing dozens.