Lebanese must unite against terrorism: Maronite patriarch

All Lebanese must co-operate to "cut off the hand of terrorism", Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi said during a Wednesday (August 10th) visit to Baalbek and several Bekaa Valley towns, Lebanon's Naharnet reported.

"We consider this visit as a completion of our condolences visit to al-Qaa, in light of what we heard from our people regarding their fear for their future and their need for reassurances and for the presence of the army that is defending this front," al-Rahi said, referring to a wave of late-June "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) suicide bombings in al-Qaa that left five people dead.

"We came here today to say that the region's Christian and Muslim residents are united in their efforts to preserve the country and its security and co-exist together in dignity," he added.

Al-Rahi described the region as "the shield of the country", adding that "terror sought to turn it into a gateway into the country".

"This requires us all to co-operate in order to be a firm bulwark, to cut off the hand of terrorism, and to confront all the attempts seeking to import terrorism into Lebanon,” the patriarch said.

Lebanese culture was built by both Christians and Muslims, he said, "and we cannot leave our land to ISIL, al-Qaeda, the terrorist organisations or the mercenaries who are coming from all over the world".

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