Watchman Newsletter

Lebanon: Grenades hurled at Christian party�s office

YNet News (Link) - Roee Nahmias (January 13, 2011)

A day after Hezbollah shook the Lebanese political system, talks aimed at easing tensions in the country are continuing. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah promised that the resignation of the Shiite party�s ministers from the government would not lead to a civil war, but a short while later two grenades were hurled at the headquarters of Michel Aoun�s Free Patriotic Movement north of Beirut.

Aoun is considered an ally of Hezbollah.

Lebanon�s official news agency said the grenades were thrown at the Christian party�s office in the village of Beit Habab, located some 25 kilometers (16 miles) from Beirut.

Sources in Lebanon reported that only one grenade exploded and caused damage, but there were no reports of casualties. Officials were quick to condemn the attack, though it is still unclear whether it was related to the toppling of Prime Minister Saad Hariri�s government.

Hariri met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris Thursday, but the two leaders did not speak to the press. The Lebanese PM is expected to continue to Turkey for a meeting with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, and then travel to Syria before returning to Beirut.

Also Thursday, Nasrallah met with Druze leader in Lebanon Walid Jumblatt to discuss the political developments in the country since the resignation of the opposition�s ministers from the government.

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said talks on forming a new government will begin next week.

Nasrallah rejected the possibility of a civil war, saying, �There will never be a war between the Sunnis and Shiites. We will calculate our steps.�

Al-Jazeera reported that in a closed meeting with Hezbollah leaders, Nasrallah said he considers the filing of indictments in the Hariri assassination case a deliberate attack on the Shiite group. �

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