New York, Jan 17 IBNS | 9 months ago

The top United Nations official in Lebanon has strongly condemned Thursday's car bombing in the north-eastern area of Hermel that killed and wounded a number of people and which comes on the same day the UN-backed trial of those responsible for the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri began.

The Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, said he continues to be "disturbed" by the recurrence of indiscriminate acts of violence in Lebanon during the past months, according to a statement issued by his Office.

"While aware of the pain and anger generated by such violence, the Special Coordinator urged all Lebanese to exercise restraint. Support of State institutions, including the army and the security forces, was the best way to safeguard the country's security and stability," the statement added.

Plumbly hopes those responsible for the bombing and all other acts of terrorism will be brought to justice as soon as possible.

In a related development, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the opening Thursday of the trial of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), nearly nine years after the terrorist attack which killed Hariri and 22 others.

"The Secretary-General stresses the vital importance of combating impunity for the long-term stability and security of Lebanon," said a statement issued by his spokesperson. "He notes with gratitude the continuing support of the Government of Lebanon, and of other Member States, for the work of the Tribunal."

Located on the outskirts of The Hague in the Netherlands, the Tribunal is an independent court created at the request of the Lebanese Government, with a mandate issued by the UN Security Council.

Four Lebanese nationals - Salim Jamil Ayyash, Mustafa Amine Badreddine, Hussein Hassan Oneissi and Assad Hassan Sabra - have been indicted over the February 2005 killing. They will be tried in absentia after the Tribunal determined last year that all reasonable attempts had been made to inform the four men of the charges they face and to bring them before the court.

(Posted on 17-01-2014)

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