Mass funeral in bombed church

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The Independent Online
BEIRUT - Jeanette Sukar mourns her brother at yesterday's mass funeral (left) of victims of Sunday's bomb blast. She seized a bouquet and pelted her brother's coffin with roses, screaming, 'Oh my brother, there is no justice in this world', writes Robert Fisk. The massacre shook Lebanese Muslims and Christians alike into a national day of mourning. The funeral was held in the same shattered church in Zouk Mikael in which the 10 Maronites died.

The Maronite Patriarch and the President of Lebanon both promised resolution and redress.

Caskets containing five of the 10 victims, one of whom was a two- year-old girl, stood only six yards from the spot where they were blasted to death on Sunday as they knelt at the communion rail at the Church of Our Lady of Deliverance. Mothers and sisters lay across the coffins, wiping their tears from the mahogany and white wood with handkerchiefs.

Responsibility for the massacre has now been variously blamed upon the Israelis (by government ministers), upon the Syrians (by followers of exiled General Michel Aoun) and upon the Palestinians (by Christian mourners outside the church). Security officials, however, still suspect that the killings may have been the result of an inter-Christian feud and Bishop Beshara Rai, one of the Patriarch's closest assistants, himself admitted yesterday that the slaughter may have been connected with the Pope's scheduled visit to Lebanon on 29 May.

(Photograph omitted)