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Bomb Blast Kills 1 in North Lebanon

Officials in northern Lebanon say a bomb blast at a residential building has killed at least one person and wounded at least 27 others.

The explosion ripped through the first floor of an apartment building early Saturday in the Bab al-Tebbaneh neighborhood of Tripoli.

There has been no claim of responsibility.

Lebanon's top Sunni Muslim cleric, Mufti Mohammed Rashid Kabbani, denounced the bombing as a criminal act. He said it was designed to spread sectarian strife in the country.

The area has been the scene of recent deadly sectarian violence.

Earlier this week, nine people were killed and 45 wounded in clashes between Sunni Muslims, who support the Lebanese government, and Alawites, a Shi'ite sect close to the Hezbollah-led opposition.

Tensions between Lebanon's rival factions have been growing in recent weeks as political leaders struggle to form a new Cabinet under the terms of an Arab-brokered deal signed in May.

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, who took office in May, called today for the formation of a national unity Cabinet within 48 hours. He said there is no justification for the delay in forming a government.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.