BEIRUT, March 27, 2011
A blast rocked St. Mary Syriac Orthodox Church 4:17 am on Sunday, in Zahle, Lebanon. No casualties have been reported.
The bomb, which consisted of about two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of TNT, was placed at the side entrance of St Mary's Syriac Orthodox church, told AFP. The National News Agency said the 2-kilogram TNT explosives were controlled by a mobile phone.
Media reports said the blast blew up St Mary's Church's door and damaged benches. Shrapnel reached the altar, they added. Seven cars parked nearby were also damaged. No one claimed responsibility.
"I denounce this type of attack and urge people to remain calm," said Archbishop Mor Yostinos Paulos, of Zahle, a mainly Christian town about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the capital Beirut. Archbishop, Mor Yostinos, who inspected the damage accused "faithless people" of being behind the blast. "The explosion targets Lebanon and its security stability." He said he planned to hold Sunday Divine Liturgy at the church despite the attack.
Zahle MPs Elie Marouni and Maalouf condemned the attack and called on the Lebanese Armed Forces to re-spread their forces next to the churches.
Marouni linked the incident to the abduction of the seven Estonians from a street next to the industrial city in Zahle.