The main political forces in Lebanon — including Hezbollah, the Future Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement — concluded that the bombings that targeted two mosques in the city of Tripoli in northern Lebanon on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, were aimed at sparking a sectarian Sunni-Shiite war in Lebanon, by provoking tit-for-tat reactions.
The first blast occurred near the Taqwi Mosque in Tripoli during Friday prayers. Prominent Salafist Sheikh Salem Rafii was present in the mosque at the time of the explosion, while sources close to him confirmed that he was not hurt in the blast and is safe. Minutes later, a second explosion hit the port area near a mosque on Al-Muarid Street, near the residence of outgoing Prime Minister Najib Mikati. Mikati, who is currently abroad, announced that he would be cutting his trip short and returning to Lebanon immediately. The blasts resulted in approximately 42 deaths and more than 500 wounded, and came just over a week after the Ruwais bombing in Beirut's southern suburbs, which left 30 dead and about 330 wounded.