17 killed in Lebanese bus explosion (Lead)

August 13th, 2008 - 4:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Beirut, Aug 13 (Xinhua) At least 17 people, including 10 army soldiers, were killed and some 40 wounded in an explosion in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli Wednesday, LBC TV reported. The blast occurred hours before Lebanese President Michel Suleiman’s arrival in Syrian capital Damascus for talks that is expected to redefine ties between the two neighbours.

The explosives were placed near a bus station in the Banks Street in Tripoli, which is mostly used by soldiers to take the bus for their service posts, the reports said.

The explosives were placed among the belongings of the soldiers who were waiting to take the bus, according to the TV.

“The Lebanese army is targeted,” Moustafa Alloush, a lawmaker from Tripoli told LBC.

Tripoli has been the scene of sectarian clashes between pro-government Sunni and opposition Alawait supporters in the past months, in which at least 23 people have been killed.

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