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Geagea: Hizbullah is Directly or Indirectly Responsible for All Security Incidents in South

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea stated on Tuesday that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon’s mission in the South has been curtailed due to Hizbullah’s presence in the area.

He said during a press conference on the latest developments: “Hizbullah is directly or indirectly responsible for all the security incidents in southern Lebanon.”

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Ban Meets Mansour in Doha, Confirms Lebanon Visit in January

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised on Sunday Lebanon’s condemnation of Friday’s attack against the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, confirmed that he will visit Lebanon in January.

He told Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour that he will visit the country on January 13 and 14.

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Gemayel Condemns ‘Terrorist Attack’ against UNIFIL

Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel condemned on Saturday a roadside bomb attack in southern Lebanon that wounded five French peacekeepers.

“The terrorist attack aims at undermining stability and targeting the role carried out by France to fortify peace,” a statement issued by Gemayel’s press office said.

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Cabinet Holds ‘Calmest Session Ever’

A cabinet session held on Friday was “one of the calmest ever,” Information Minister Walid Daouq said, stressing that the ministers would discuss the 2011 draft state budget next week.

“It was one of the calmest sessions,” Daouq told reporters after the government convened at the Grand Serail under Prime Minister Najib Miqati.

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Blast Targets French UNIFIL Patrol in Tyre, 7 Injured

Five French soldiers and two civilians were wounded on Friday by a powerful roadside bomb that targeted a UNIFIL patrol in the southern coastal city of Tyre, a spokesperson and media reports said.

UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti said the 5 peacekeepers were injured when an explosion targeted their patrol in an area south of Tyre around 9:30 am. He did not specify to which contingent they belonged to.

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Report: Al-Rashidiyeh Camp Salafists Behind Tyre Bomb Blasts

Salafists based in the Palestinian refugee camp of al-Rashidiyeh might be behind the bombings that targeted a hotel and a liquor store in the southern city of Tyre, An Nahar daily reported Friday.

The newspaper said investigators have found unconfirmed leads that Salafist groups in al-Rashidiyeh could have bombed the Queen Elissa hotel and the shop on Wednesday in an effort to combat the liquor trade in the area.

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Watkins Meets Geagea: A Lot of Progress Needed to Achieve Permanent Ceasefire in South

United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Ad Interim Robert Watkins stated on Wednesday that the U.N. is “relatively pleased” with the quiet and stability in the South.

He said after holding talks with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea: “We still feel there is a lot of progress that needs to be made towards a permanent ceasefire” by both Israel and Lebanon.

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Explosions Target Hotel, Liquor Store in Tyre

Twin bomb blasts targeted a hotel and a liquor store in the southern city of Tyre at dawn Wednesday, causing extensive damage but no casualties.

The first explosion ripped through a restaurant of the three-story Queen Elissa hotel which lies on the coast around 5:00 am. Several vehicles were damaged in the blast.

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Al-Rahi from Tyre: We Want Political Decisions that Ensure Muslim-Christian Coexistence

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi hoped on Saturday that God would inspire political leaders to take the appropriate decisions that would fall in Lebanon’s favor.

He said from the southern city of Tyre: “We hope they will take political decisions that can ensure the people’s freedom and protect the coexistence between Muslims and Christians in Lebanon and the whole region.”

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7 Injured in Fighting Over Front Seat in Southern Town

Seven people were injured after a wealthy businessman’s prestige prevented him from accepting that a person from a lower social status sit at a front row during a condolences prayer in the south, the National News Agency reported.

NNA quoted several witnesses in the town of Buyout al-Siyyad in Tyre as saying on Monday that businessman A.Z. viewed a decision by another man to sit at a row in front of him as a challenge.

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