Qabbani Inspects Burnt Basta Mosque: Endangering Citizens' Security a Great Crime

Lebanon's Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani on Friday inspected Basta Mosque that was set ablaze by militants in Tuesday's bloody gunbattles and called for holding negligent officials accountable.

Qabbani said Dar el-Fatwa will take charge of renovating and rehabilitating the mosque with help from Makkased Association.

"Endangering the security of citizens is a great crime," Qabbani said during his Friday sermon from Basta.

A dispute over a parking space in Borj Abi Haidar near Basta quickly turned into armed clashes between Hizbullah supporters and Al-Ahbash partisans Tuesday evening.

Three people were killed including a Hizbullah official, his bodyguard and Al-Ahbash member.

"Political differences are legitimate in our democratic system, but they should remain within political boundaries and not spill out into the streets," Qabbani told worshipers.

"It is our duty to unite our word and join our ranks … among brethren in one homeland.

Qabbani stressed that the "Lebanese State, its Cabinet ministers and lawmakers, police and military forces are required today to carry out their duty to maintain the security of the citizen, in our homeland Lebanon, and to take practical measures to ensure the security of the citizen."

"We must hold the negligent (side) accountable for its negligence and those who mess up with security, too.

"Endangering the security of the citizen is a great crime that is likely to ignite civil strife and spread chaos," Qabbani warned.