Zuma condemns terror attacks, warns against labelling refugees as extremists

Zuma made the remarks at a meeting of Brics nations leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Turkey.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma.  Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has condemned the terror attacks in Lebanon and France and has warned world leaders not to label all refugees as extremists.

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Zuma made the remarks at a meeting of Brics nations leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Turkey.

He says South Africa stands with the people of Lebanon and France.

"Refugees flocking into Europe in search of peace and a better life must not be labelled and ostracised as a result of this attack. The attacks do not mean that every refugee is a terrorist."

In the wake of the Paris assaults, some European countries are considering shutting their borders to refugees and migrants.

ISIS ATTACKS

At least 43 people were killed and more than 240 wounded last week in two suicide bomb blasts claimed by Islamic State in a crowded residential district in Beirut's southern suburbs, a stronghold of the Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah.

Yesterday, Lebanon held a day of mourning following the twin attacks.

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The explosions were the first attacks in more than a year to target a Hezbollah stronghold inside Lebanon, and came at time when the group is stepping up its involvement in the Syrian civil war, a fight which has brought Sunni Islamist threats and invective against the Iran-backed Shi'ite group.

On Friday, scores of people were killed in six coordinated attacks in the French capital including at a concert venue and a sports stadium.

The Islamic State claimed the attack and warned in a video on Monday that any country hitting it would suffer the same fate as Paris, promising specifically to target Washington.

At the same time, French President Francois Hollande called on the United States and Russia to join a global coalition to destroy Islamic State in the wake of the attacks across Paris, and announced a wave of measures to combat terror in France.

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Additional information by Reuters.