Break a match part II
Date: Oct 12th, 2008 4:16:26 pm - Subscribe
Mood: confuzzled

At least 11 people have been killed and many injured by a bomb attack on a bus in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

The bomb went off in the busy commercial district as the streets were full of people travelling to work.

At least 30 people were injured in the blast, which Lebanese President Michel Suleiman has called "a terrorist act".

Many of the dead were reported to be Lebanese soldiers who had been travelling on the bus.

The attack came a day after a vote of confidence confirmed the new government of national unity in office.

President Suleiman said the Lebanese army would not be terrorised by attacks against it or society.

Correspondents say the bomb could have been intended to disrupt a planned visit by Mr Suleiman to Syria, where he had been expected to discuss ways of improving relations between the two countries.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but the city has recently seen clashes between the majority Sunni community and the Alawite sect, which is linked to Hezbollah.

I visited Lebanon in December 1998 -- 10 years ago this year -- holy shit! And used Tripoli as my base in the north -- I explored the Kadisha Gorge where the maronite brotherhoods lay undisturbed for centuries - their churches hidden away from the eyes of strangers and the cedars of Lebanon grow. I visited the city of Jbeil that a couple of millennia ago had another name -- Byblos. Its a strong candidate for the longest continually inhabited place on the planet from the circles of lime by the sea that formed the floors of hunter gatherer huts to the crusader castle to modern tenement blocks. It was a centre of paper production and became synonymous with the book -- its where the greeks got the biblio - prefix from and from where we get the word bible.
Even in 98 years after the civil war had ended there was still damage -- not to the extent that there was in Beirut but the odd pitted pavement area that had been hit by mortar fire. It was a hotbed of sectarian strife and looks to be continuing in the same way -- plus ca change plus c'est la meme chose as the frogs would say.
Depressing to think that the places with the longest human history are those with the longest history of inhumanity...

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