Death Toll Climbs In Beirut Attack, Worst In Eight Years



BEIRUT - A previously unknown Sunni group has claimed responsibility for Thursday's car-bomb explosion in a southern Beirut neighborhood, one of Lebanon's bloodiest attacks in recent memory and the clearest sign to date that the conflict in neighboring Syria is crossing the border.

As the death toll climbed to 22, with 290 wounded, the New York Times called it the worst attack in Lebanon in eight years.

A group called Aysha Umm-al Mouemeneen posted a video on the web shortly after the attack, showing three masked men, two of them with rifles, in front of a white flag inscribed with the Islamic profession of faith.

One of the men said: "We send a message to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah's pigs." According to Al Jazeera, Hezbollah, an ally of the Syrian regime, had been receiving threats from some groups linked to the Syrian opposition.

The car-bomb explosion struck in the suburb neighborhood of Ruwaiss, in the south of Beirut, near a facility used by Hezbollah to deliver speeches to their supporters.

According to the BBC, the bomb appeared to have gone off between two residential buildings. It was followed by chaotic scenes of buildings and cars caught on fire and ambulances and fire engines cramming into a narrow road.

Lebanon's caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati declared Friday a national day of mourning and called the Higher Defense Council to hold a meeting.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah - Photo: Iftikh

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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?

The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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