“We got the message, and we will respond by uniting [our ranks] , adhering to civil peace and rallying around the [Lebanese] Army and security forces that have received orders to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice quickly,” Prime Minister Tammam Salam said.
“Amid the positive atmosphere that accompanied the birth of the government and had a positive impact on the Lebanese, terrorism dealt Lebanon a new blow through the bombing of a safe civilian area, in a message reflecting the insistence of the forces of evil to inflict harm on Lebanon and its people,” Salam added.
Salam announced a government of “national interest” after ten months of political deadlock.
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri echoed Salam’s message.
“If the objective of [Wednesday’s] terrorist attack is a message to the Lebanese that Lebanon will not be safe from terrorism after the formation of the government,” Hariri said in a statement. “We stress more than ever before the importance of unity among the Lebanese in the face of terrorism and all suspicious attempts to ignite [sectarian] strife and torpedo efforts to safeguard stability.”
He called for pursuing the perpetrators and cracking down on terrorist hideouts.
Several ministers from Salam’s newly-appointed Cabinet also denounced the bombings after inspecting the scene of the blasts.
Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk vowed to take stringent measures along Lebanon’s porous border with Syria to protect against the infiltration of car bombs, adding that stolen cars from Lebanon are being rigged in Syria and reimported into Lebanon.
Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun said via twitter: “No doubt that the terrorists resented the formation of the government, which has pledged to confront them, so they responded with this attack.”