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United Nations Security Council condemns Beirut car bomb

Security personnel and people gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013.A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in a Beirut stronghold district of the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group that has been fighting in Syria's c
Security personnel and people gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013.A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in a Beirut stronghold district of the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group that has been fighting in Syria's civil war, wounding at least 38 people, a hospital official told Reuters. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Forensic experts inspect the remnants of a car bomb at the scene of a bombing in the Beir el-Abed, a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. A large explosion rocked a stronghold of the Shiite militant Hezbollah group south of t
Forensic experts inspect the remnants of a car bomb at the scene of a bombing in the Beir el-Abed, a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. A large explosion rocked a stronghold of the Shiite militant Hezbollah group south of the Lebanese capital Tuesday, setting several cars on fire, sending a thick plume of black smoke billowing into the sky and wounding more than a dozen people, security officials said. -- PHOTO: AP
Women react as they walk past a picture of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, as seen from a shattered window near the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013. A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in a Beirut str
Women react as they walk past a picture of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, as seen from a shattered window near the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013. A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in a Beirut stronghold district of the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group that has been fighting in Syria's civil war, wounding at least 38 people, a hospital official told Reuters. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Lebanese army soldiers, security forces and Hezbollah members gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013. A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in a Beirut stronghold district of the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group th
Lebanese army soldiers, security forces and Hezbollah members gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013. A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in a Beirut stronghold district of the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group that has been fighting in Syria's civil war, wounding at least 38 people, a hospital official told Reuters. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A woman walks over shattered glass, past damaged cars near the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013. A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in a Beirut stronghold district of the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group that has been f
A woman walks over shattered glass, past damaged cars near the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013. A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in a Beirut stronghold district of the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group that has been fighting in Syria's civil war, wounding at least 38 people, a hospital official told Reuters. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A woman holding a boy, walks over shattered glass, between damaged cars near the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013. A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in a Beirut stronghold district of the Lebanese Hezbollah militant gro
A woman holding a boy, walks over shattered glass, between damaged cars near the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013. A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in a Beirut stronghold district of the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group that has been fighting in Syria's civil war, wounding at least 38 people, a hospital official told Reuters. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Lebanese army soldiers secure the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013. A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in a Beirut stronghold district of the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group that has been fighting in Syria's civil war,
Lebanese army soldiers secure the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013. A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in a Beirut stronghold district of the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group that has been fighting in Syria's civil war, wounding at least 38 people, a hospital official told Reuters. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Lebanese military police inspect the remains of a vehicle, at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013. A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in a Beirut stronghold district of the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group that has bee
Lebanese military police inspect the remains of a vehicle, at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013. A car bomb exploded on Tuesday in a Beirut stronghold district of the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group that has been fighting in Syria's civil war, wounding at least 38 people, a hospital official told Reuters. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Firefighters and residents gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburb neighbourhood of Bir al-Abed on July 9, 2013. A car bomb rocked Beirut's southern suburbs, stronghold of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement, wounding 15 people
Firefighters and residents gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburb neighbourhood of Bir al-Abed on July 9, 2013. A car bomb rocked Beirut's southern suburbs, stronghold of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement, wounding 15 people, television reports and a military source said. -- PHOTO: AFP
A firefighter is helped as he extinguishes fire at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburb neighbourhood of Bir al-Abed on July 9, 2013. A car bomb rocked Beirut's southern suburbs, stronghold of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement, woun
A firefighter is helped as he extinguishes fire at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburb neighbourhood of Bir al-Abed on July 9, 2013. A car bomb rocked Beirut's southern suburbs, stronghold of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement, wounding 15 people, television reports and a military source said. -- PHOTO: AFP
Civilians gather at the of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburb neighbourhood of Bir al-Abed on July 9, 2013. A car bomb rocked Beirut's southern suburbs, stronghold of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement, wounding 15 people, television reports a
Civilians gather at the of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburb neighbourhood of Bir al-Abed on July 9, 2013. A car bomb rocked Beirut's southern suburbs, stronghold of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement, wounding 15 people, television reports and a military source said. -- PHOTO: AFP
Civil Defence workers, Hezbollah members, policemen and civilians gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013. At least 18 people were wounded by a car bomb blast in Beirut's southern suburbs on Tuesday, a strongh
Civil Defence workers, Hezbollah members, policemen and civilians gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, on July 9, 2013. At least 18 people were wounded by a car bomb blast in Beirut's southern suburbs on Tuesday, a stronghold of the Lebanese Shi'ite Hezbollah militant group that has been fighting in Syria's civil war, security sources said. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - The UN Security Council strongly condemned a car bomb attack in Beirut on Tuesday and raised fears about the growing spread of the Syria conflict.

The 15-nation council renewed appeals for all groups to stay out of the Syrian war despite growing cross border attacks in a statement released after a meeting on mounting tensions in Lebanon.

The council "strongly condemned the terrorist attack" in the most serious incident in the stronghold of Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement since the start of the Syrian conflict.

At least 53 people were injured by the car bomb which the council slammed as a "heinous act" and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

"The members of the Security Council appealed to all Lebanese people to preserve national unity in the face of attempts to undermine the country's stability," added the statement.

The council "stressed the importance for all Lebanese parties to respect Lebanon's policy of disassociation and to refrain from any involvement in the Syrian crisis." The statement did not mention Hezbollah fighters taking sides with President Bashar al-Assad in Syria even though this been condemned by the United States and other western nations.

Mrs Rosemary DiCarlo, acting US ambassador at the UN and Security Council president for July, said envoys had "expressed concern at the marked increase of cross-border fire from Syria into Lebanon, as well as incursions, abductions, arms trafficking along the Lebanese-Syrian border".

With more than 590,000 Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon, Mrs DiCarlo said council envoys at the closed meeting had "expressed the need for international support to the government of Lebanon to deal with this crisis".

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