Renowned Lebanese Library Torched

Two-thirds of its 80,000 books and documents destroyed

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Ibrahim Chalhoub / AFP / Getty Images

A Lebanese soldier stands guard, on January 4, 2014 in north Lebanon's city of Tripoli, outside a decades-old library that was torched.

Tripoli, the second largest city in Lebanon, has suffered a terrible loss with an arson attack on its renowned Al-Saeh library, destroying two thirds of its estimated 80,000 books and manuscripts.

The Saturday attack came after rumors that the owner, Greek Orthodox priest Father Ibrahim Srouj, had published an Internet article insulting Islam and the prophet Muhammed.

Lebanese officials and religious personalities are claiming that Srouj didn’t write the article and are calling for the prosecution of the people behind the attack.

The Sunni majority city is located close to the Syrian border, and has lately seen an escalation of sectarian clashes between pro-Assad and pro-rebel groups.

[Daily Star]