Turkish Foreign Ministry condemns Beirut car bomb attack

Turkish Foreign Ministry condemns Beirut car bomb attack

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkish Foreign Ministry condemns Beirut car bomb attack

Lebanese fire fighters extinguish a flame at the site of a car bomb between the Bir el-Abed and Roueiss neighbourhoods, in the southern suburb of Beirut on Aug. 15. AFP photo

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has issued a statement condemning the Aug. 15 car bomb attack in Beirut that, according to official sources, killed at least 20.

"We strongly condemn the attack that took place in Beirut leaving several killed and injured. We express our condolences to the relatives of the victims and Lebanese people, wishing a speedy recovery for the injured," the statement said, sending a message of restraint following the attack near a building that belongs to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah .

"Turkey hopes that the perpetrators of this heinous attack will be identified and brought to justice as soon as possible. We fully believe that the Lebanese people will react with sense without falling for provocations or allowing social harmony to be disrupted by this heinous attack targeting Lebanon's security and stability," the statement added.

A Sunni Islamist group calling itself the Brigades of Aisha claimed responsibility for the attack and promised more operations against Hezbollah.

Relations between the two countries have been particularly strained since the abduction last week in Beirut of two Turkish Airlines pilots by a group demanding Turkey use its influence with Syria's rebels, which the country backs, to secure the release of nine Lebanese Shiites kidnapped in Syria in May 2012.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu chided Aug. 15 the Lebanese authorities for not implementing adequate security measures.

"Such a terror act that happens on a highway in Lebanon that goes from the Beirut airport to Beirut and that is clearly under the control of the Lebanese security forces shows either that there are no security measures in Beirut or that [the ones who did this] were somehow supported," Davutoğlu told reporters today.

A delegation from Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT) met Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel Aug. 14 to step up efforts to save the pilots.