Lebanese Leaders Inquire about Yazigi's Health after Damascus Blast

Speaker Nabih Berri on Thursday telephoned Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Yohanna X Yazigi to inquire about his health, after a suicide bomber blew himself up near the Mariamite church in the Damascus Christian neighborhood of Bab Touma.

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati also made a similar phone call.

Meanwhile, Lebanese Democratic Party leader MP Talal Arslan condemned the bombing, saying “the continuous attack on Syria is part of the same plot that is aimed at undermining the Syrian society's unity through the detestable sectarian divisions that are threatening the unity of our Arab society.”

“This suspicious plot – which failed to achieve its objectives in Syria in the face of the unity of the state and the components of the Syrian people -- will only boost our resolve to confront it at all levels, whether in Lebanon or anywhere else,” Arslan added.

He warned that “this bombing that targeted a Christian neighborhood in Damascus highlights the intentions of the malicious scheme that is aimed at displacing Christians from the region in order to weaken and end their pioneering role in the Levant.”

Earlier on Thursday, Lebanon's OTV said “the Bab Touma bombing happened after Patriarch Yazigi's convoy entered the patriarchate's HQ coming from Lebanon.”

But the head of the Balamand Monastery, Bishop Ghattas Hazim, denied to Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) that the patriarch was the target of the suicide attack.

"A terrorist suicide bombing... in Damascus has left four people dead and several others wounded," Syria's state television said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the toll, adding that the likely target of the bombing was a Shiite Muslim charity located in the Christian neighborhood.

At least two shops were damaged by the blast, Agence France Presse said.

On October 12, thirteen people were killed in an attack in front of a police station in Bab Touma.

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