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Lebanon: Trial of Salam, Taqwa Mosques Bombings Suspects Set for May | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Lebanese civilians gather next to the site of a blast outside the al-Taqwa mosque in the northern city of Tripoli on August 23, 2013. (AFP)

Beirut – The trial of the suspects behind the twin bombings at the al-Taqwa and al-Salam mosques in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli in 2013 will kick off in May.

The Judicial Council announced that the trial will begin on May 19.

The bombings on August 21, 2013 left 51 worshippers dead and over 400 wounded.

The five suspects who will stand trial are Tawheed Movement public relations official Sheik Ahmed al-Gharib, photojournalist Mustafa Houri and three members of the pro-Syrian regime Arab Democratic Party: Ahmed Ali, Shehade Shdoud and Youssef Diab.

Diab had confessed that he had detonated the explosives-rigged vehicle that targeted the Taqwa mosque.

The trial will be based on the information included in the indictment that was issued by judicial investigator Judge Alaa al-Khatib.

He accused two Syrian intelligence officers of “planning and overseeing the bombings.”

The officers were identified as Mohammed Ali Ali and Nasser Jouban. Indictments were also issued against the two officers’ Syrian superiors who gave them the order to bomb the mosques.

Other members of the terrorist cell included in the indictment are Hiyan Ramadan, Ahmed Merhi, who bombed the Salam mosque with a booby-trapped vehicle, Khodr Shdoud, Salman Asaad, Khodr al-Airouni and Thoukayna Ismail. All of these suspects hail from Tripoli’s Jabal Mohsen neighborhood and have fled to Syria.

They face the death penalty if charged.

Charges against head of the Arab Democratic Party former MP Ali Eid were dropped following his death. He was accused of aiding the suspects in fleeing Lebanon.