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al-Qaa (Qaa), a predominantly Christian village in north Lebanon, was violently attacked by a wave of 8 suicide bombings on June 27, 2016. Four suicide bombers struck in the village of Qaa early on Monday morning, causing the fatalities and wounding 15 people. That evening, as friends and family members of the victims gathered outside a church, two men on a motorcycle threw a grenade before blowing themselves up, wounding another 13.
Al monitor reported around 4am, four suicide bombers caught the attention of a local who had woke early to eat before fasting. Suspecting foul play, the resident took out a weapon and fired at one of them, who then blows himself up. Other neighbors and Lebanese soldiers ran to the site of the explosion, clashed with the other three suicide bombers, who detonated themselves subsequently at 10-minute intervals. A rescue worker carrying one of the wounded was killed during the second blast.
A security official said the evening explosions took place while families of those killed in the earlier bombings were gathering to prepare for funerals. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters. Lebanon’s official National News Agency said 13 people were wounded in the late night explosions.
Fr Elian Nasrallah, a local priest, said the explosions went off near the Saint Elias church and were followed by gunfire.
Following the attacks, the army urged people to avoid gatherings and to cooperate with authorities. Villagers were struck fear and panic and barricaded themselves indoors.
No organization has claimed the responsibility for the 8 attacks, but, experts believe it was ISIS fighters who crossed over from nearby Syria.. Lebanon is a hosts huge numbers of refugees fleeing the Syrian war. It is claimed that ISIS fighters have sent their families to refugee camps in Lebanon. Their jihad subsidized by the disorganization of the international community.
The attacks raised tensions in Lebanon. Last week after meeting with Prime Minister Tamim Salaam, Lebanese security officials released a statement warning the al-Qaa attacks could be the “harbinger of a wave of terrorist operations.” Lebanese security forces stepped up efforts in arresting alleged IS sleeper cells in the north.
Lebanese Army have arrested over 200 refugees in wake of bombings. “It is our humane duty to protect the Syrian refugees, however we will never allow them to harm the Lebanese people.”
The Catholic Herald reported Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, while visiting Qaa, said the village formed part of a “fence” for Lebanon. “When a terrorist enters, he can go anywhere,” he said.
Bassil, heads the Free Patriotic Movement party, the largest Christian bloc in parliament. He sparked condemnation for calling on municipalities under his party’s control to ban any gathering or camps of Syrian refugees.
Bassil said he did not want to “tie any particular nationality or religion to terrorism.” But he said “no one can deny the reality that displacement will be used as a cover for terrorism.”
Please pray for peace and the people of Lebanon. Pray also for the strength in faith and endurance of our Lebanese Christian brothers and sisters.
Rebels Claim Assad Used Chlorine Gas Again: It’s Time To Hold The World Accountable For These Atrocities
Syria’s President Assad has been in the news again, accused of using Chlorine gas on innocent civilians yet again. Reuters is reporting that these new accusations came after Assad announced his bid to run for president in June. Also after his announcement there were 2 incidents of bombings one in Homs and the other in Damascus. Killing at least 50 people, including children. These areas are government held areas at the moment. I say at the moment because they were once held by rebels. According to our sources this is a game that has been played by both sides. The Government forces pulled out of Homs at one time and allowed a rebel takeover that killed a number of Christians. President Assad has protected Christians in the past, so these areas when given over to rebels saw a huge massacre of Christians and innocent civilians.
I have to question the accusation of Assad using Chemical weapons at this point. He has been under pressure to give up his arsenal, and he is under the microscope of the UN and other western powers. It is the general opinion of those from there, that Assad did not do this. I find it hard to believe as he just announced he is running again for President. And we know that the rebels have had access to chemical weapons plants, and we know that they have been aided by western governments militarily and financially. Turkey has even proven to aid the traffic of rebels into Syria from foreign lands. Coming into Syria for ‘Jihad’.
Assad has had his share of blood on his hands. He is a dictator in a brutal part of the world. And he has ties to Iran. However isn’t it time the world holds the rebels accountable and those countries that support them? It has been said that Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are aiding these rebels. I say it’s time the media and officials demand accountability and stop the shedding of innocent blood. It’s time to say enough. Pray for the people of Syria, pray for our brothers and sisters there. It was just recently that the rebels brutally murdered a priest.
A priest that was helping both sides. A priest that stood for peace and freedom. And that doesn’t include the thousands of Christians who have been slaughtered unmercilessly. We can’t forget the memory of those who have died in this brutal cleansing. And don’t forget the pictures of crucifixion mocking Jesus that are surfacing also. So the rebels who are spotless claim Assad used Chemical weapons and we should believe them why? Again, it’s time to demand accountability from our Government and other Western and Middle eastern governments.
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.
TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Residents of the Tripoli neighborhood of Zahrieh were still reeling from attacks targeting businesses owned by Christians and Alawites over the weekend, with some fearing the incidents were meant to fuel sectarian hostilities. The attacks took place overnight by unidentified armed men, as owners were surprised to learn early Friday when they arrived at the main street of Zahrieh to open up their shops. They rummaged through the debris, as many shops had been burned, to see if any of their merchandise could be salvaged.
All of the owners belong to the Christian and Alawite communities of Zahrieh, causing some observers to muse that they were paying the price for long-standing sectarian tensions in the northern city.
The affected shop owners, identified as Fadi Khoury, Jean Maamari, George Rachkidi, Farid Estephan, Tamim al-Atrash and the owners of retail chains Eskandar and the Nidal boutique, expressed frustration over the incidents, saying they were shocked and saddened that their properties had been damaged and fearful that there were certain parties in Tripoli seeking to remove them from the city.
Belonging to a minority group in Tripoli, some shop owners said they didn’t have authority figures to complain to either.
“My neighbor called at 6 a.m., and told me that plumes of smoke could be seen billowing from my shops after unidentified men attacked the stores and threw fire bombs,” shop owner Maamari told The Daily Star. “When we arrived at the scene it was horrible, we could see our properties and stores, our only means of making a living, burning before our eyes.”
“There is no one here to protect us, because we live in Tripoli,” Maamari said dejected. Residents have long complained that the area is underdeveloped and constantly overlooked by the government, centered in Beirut.
Read more: (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News )
“The focus of this project is to embrace uprooted Believers, not only in Syria, but also around the world.”
Santa Ana, CA)—In the midst of the horrible Syrian civil war, Open Doors and its church partners are putting warm clothes on needy children. For three long months this winter, children of a church in Aleppo have had to stay at home with the sounds of war going on around their houses. Many schools are closed and going to church is dangerous. Christians in Aleppo are sometimes the target of deliberate attacks, but more often they suffer from the general chaos and violence in the city because of the bloody war.
With the help of Open Doors, the church organized a special day for the children. Behind the chairs, big piles of clothes were waiting for new owners. Parents sorted through the sweaters and jackets, holding them up to find a suitable size for each of their children. Open Doors made sure all the 200 children went home with a new set of clothes. And while the parents were busy, the kids enjoyed singing Christian songs and a puppet show. The organizers feel blessed to see so many families coming out of their houses for one afternoon and thinking a little less about the worries of the conflict—which has reportedly claimed 70,000 lives. “We really felt the presence of God today,” said one leader.
Four years ago Open Doors started working inside Syria with an outreach to Iraqi Christian refugees, which included Biblical training, distribution of relief supplies and trauma counseling. The outreach provided Open Doors with a unique network of church contacts as the Syrian civil war broke out two years later and Christians were specifically targeted in midst of the general horrors of war. As of last December, Open Doors estimated 20,000-25,000 Christian families had left their homes for other places either inside Syria or for countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. An Open Doors contact in Syria says “bold attacks on Christians are increasing. And there are more kidnappings, too.”
Open Doors is hoping to enhance its outreach during 2013 by helping hundreds of families cope physically and spiritually with their uncertain situation. The Open Doors aid includes blankets, stoves, heating fuel, medicines and hygiene kits as well as Bibles and spiritual training.
The campaign, called “Displaced Peoples Project,” has also targeted countries such as Egypt, South Sudan, Nigeria, Mali, Laos and Iraq, as displacement of Christians is a worldwide problem. Thousands of Christians are being forced to leave their original family homes and villages due to persecution and ravages of war.
“The focus of this project is to embrace uprooted Believers, not only in Syria, but also around the world,” says Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra. “Thousands of Christians are being forced from their homes, churches, schools and places of work. They find themselves completely destitute and face an uncertain future.
“Your . . . prayers will equip and strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ and at the same time enable those being dislocated to remain salt and light in their regions or in refugee camps in other countries.” READ MORE