WASHINGTON — Two coordinated bombings hit mosques in the northern Lebanon city of Tripoli, killing at least 27 people and wounding at least 358 others.
Reuters reports that this could lead to widespread sectarian (religious sect) violence, which has been on the upswing in recent months.
After the Lebanese-based and Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah entered the Syrian civil war, Sunni and Shi’a Muslims have been at each other’s throats in Lebanon. The small country had barely survived a prolonged civil war from 1975-1990, and its leaders want no part in a repeat of the brutal and divisive civil war.
Some of the recent events:
- A mayor of a border town was shot at after he negotiated a hostage situation with a rival clan
- Gunmen killed a key pro-Assad television commentator
- Hezbollah cracked down on protests, where one protester was killed by Hezbollah militia
- A car bomb exploded in a Hezbollah-friendly suburb and killed dozens.
Sunni Muslims were attending mosques for their Friday prayers when the blasts went off. Sunnis mostly side with the Syrian rebels and against the Shi’a-leaning Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad, who is supported by Shi’a Iran and Hezbollah.
Similar events are happening in Iraq, where religious tensions are at an all-time high as thousands of Iraqis have been killed since the start of the year. In the month of May alone, 1,000 Iraqis lost their lives.