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Bomb Toll Up to 60 in North Lebanon

Associated Press

The casualty toll from a car bomb that blew up a seaside candy store filled with Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan rose Thursday to at least 60 dead and more than 100 wounded, Lebanese police reported.

Rescue teams pulled apart the wreckage of the store, and police said the toll from Wednesday night’s blast could go still higher. There were reports that some bodies were hurled into the Mediterranean Sea when a red Volvo sedan rigged with 275 pounds of explosives blew up.

The police in Tripoli added that many of the bodies recovered from the explosion were mutilated and burned and that only 29 have been identified. Many of the victims were women and children.

None of Lebanon’s warring factions immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, the latest in a series of car bomb attacks in recent months. The blast followed fighting between rival Muslim factions in the northern port city.

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In Amman, Jordan, Yasser Arafat’s wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization charged that Syrian agents planted the bomb. Sheik Said Shaban, leader of the Sunni Muslim fundamentalist group Tawhid, blamed “America, Israel and its agents of the right-wing Christian Lebanese Forces.”

The candy store, on the first two floors of an unfinished six-story building, was crowded with families marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic fast month. Scores of Muslims were buying chocolates and sweetmeats, traditional Ramadan gifts for relatives and friends.


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