Fatah al-Islam claims Beirut bombs-statement

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BEIRUT, May 22 (Reuters) Al Qaeda-inspired Fatah al-Islam militants claimed responsibility today for two bombs that rocked Christian and Sunni Muslim districts of Beirut in the last two days and threatened to set Beirut ''ablaze'' again.

''A group of your heroic jihadist brothers undertook in the last two days ... the planting and detonating of two explosive devices in the heart of Beirut,'' said the statement which was faxed to Reuters and signed by the media arm of the Fatah al-Islam group.

The statement's authenticity could not be verified.

''We have warned the government and we have been true to our pledge ... and we have set ablaze and will set ablaze again the heart of Beirut,'' said the statement.

The group's spokesman, Abu Salim, could not be immediately reached for comment.


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