US condemns Lebanon blasts

WASHINGTON - The United States on Friday condemned two car bombings outside Sunni mosques in the Lebanese city of Tripoli which killed 42 people and injured hundreds.

US National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote on Twitter that Washington "strongly condemns" the attacks.

Rice also extended condolences for "the loss of innocent life."

Both blasts hit at the hour of weekly Muslim prayers, in a city where Sunni supporters of Syria's rebels engage in frequent, often deadly, clashes with Alawites, who back the Assad regime.

Washington has frequently expressed disquiet that Syria's strife could spill over and ruin Lebanon's fragile peace.

State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf called on all sides in Lebanon to exercise calm and restraint.

"We reaffirm our firm commitment to a stable, sovereign, and independent Lebanon and support the Lebanese government's efforts to restore stability and security in the country," she said.

The death toll in the bombings was the highest in an attack since Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war, and was condemned around the world.