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LEBANON: Thousands of books, manuscripts torched in fire at historic Lebanese library

A Lebanese soldier stands guard, on January 4, 2014 in north Lebanon's city of Tripoli, outside a decades-old library owned by a Greek Orthodox priest that was torched after "a pamphlet was discovered inside one of the books that was insulting to Islam and the prophet Mohammad" said a source, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity. (AFP Photo)

A Lebanese soldier stands guard, on January 4, 2014 in north Lebanon’s city of Tripoli, outside a decades-old library owned by a Greek Orthodox priest that was torched after “a pamphlet was discovered inside one of the books that was insulting to Islam and the prophet Mohammad” said a source, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity. (AFP Photo)

 

Two-thirds of a historic collection of 80,000 books have gone up in smoke after a library was torched in the Lebanese city of Tripoli amid sectarian tensions. The blaze was started after a pamphlet insulting Islam was reportedly found inside a book.

Firefighters struggled to subdue the flames as the decades-old  Al-Saeh library went up in smoke on Friday in the Serail  neighborhood of Tripoli. Despite firefighters’ best efforts,  little of the trove of historic books and manuscripts was  recovered from the wreckage.

“Two thirds of some 80,000 books and manuscripts housed  there,” a security source told Agence France Press,  referring to the items destroyed. The source added that the blaze  was started after a manuscript insulting the Prophet Mohammed was  found hidden in the pages of one of the library books.

A demonstration had been planned in Tripoli after the pamphlet  was found but was reportedly called off after the library’s Greek  Orthodox owner spoke with Muslim leaders. Lebanese news outlet  Naharnet also reported that one of the library workers was shot  and wounded Thursday night.

The library owner, Father Ebrahim Surouj, met with Islamic  leaders in Tripoli. It became clear the priest had nothing to do  with the pamphlet, and a demonstration that had been planned in  protest over the incident was called off,” the source said.

Full Article at RT

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