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Middle East

Rockets hit south of Lebanon's capital

One projectile falls near presidential palace in Beirut as fallout of conflict in neighbouring Syria divides country.

Last Modified: 02 Aug 2013 09:05
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It was not immediately clear who fired the rockets that fell on Beirut on Friday [AFP]

At least two rockets have hit an area south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, that houses the Defence Ministry and presidential palace, according to the state-run news agency.

Witnesses said one of the rockets fell only a few metres from an entrance to the presidential palace in Baabda on Friday.There were no casualties from the apparent attacks.

The other rocket damaged a private residence there.

It was not immediately clear who fired them or from where.

Alain Aoun, Member of Free Patriotic Movement parliamentary bloc, said the attack meant there were no areas in the country that were considered safe from these sorts of attacks.

The blasts were the latest in a series of rocket attacks that have targeted areas just south of Beirut n the past two months, a direct fallout from the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

Lebanon is deeply divided between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The attack comes on the same day that President Michel Suleiman gave a speech for Army Day in which he criticised the involvement of the Lebanese Hezbollah group in the Syrian civil war in support of Assad's forces.

Suleiman called for Hezbollah's weapons to be folded under that of the Lebanese army.

The group has a formidable weapons arsenal that rivals that of the national army.

In June, a Grad rocket fired from north of Beirut exploded near the city and the army found a second rocket at the launch site.

And in May, two rockets hit Hezbollah's hub in Beirut shortly after the group's leader made a speech defending the movement's participation in Syria's conflict.

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Source:
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