Violence Must Stop - Lahoud

Article excerpt

A day after a bombing injured five people in Beirut, President Emile Lahoud pledged to do his utmost to end the spate of violence that has gripped Lebanon since last month's assassination of former premier Rafik Hairiri.

Mr Lahoud said that unity among the Lebanese would save the country.

His comments came after he attended an Easter Mass in which Maronite Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir urged the president to work to rescue the country.

On Saturday night, a bomb blast at an industrial estate in the mainly Christian northeastern suburb of Bouchrieh injured five people and heavily damaged six buildings.

It was the third such attack in eight days with the opposition has accusing Syria ofbeing behind the explosions. The attack raised tensions in Lebanon, which has been gripped by political turmoil since the February 14 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hairiri, which opposition groups blame on long-time mentor Syria and pro-Damascus Lebanese authorities.

Both vehemently deny such claims. Several dozen opposition supporters tried to reach the damaged buildings, but were forced back by soldiers guarding the area. …