BEIRUT, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Lebanon on Friday charged two men, including a Sunni cleric with close ties to the Syrian government, over bomb attacks against two mosques in the northern city of Tripoli last week that killed at least 42 people, judicial sources said.
They said a military court accused Sheikh Ahmad Gharib and Mostafa Houri of forming an armed group to attack government institutions, organising a terrorist cell and preparing the bombs against the two Sunni mosques in Tripoli.
The explosions, which also wounded hundreds, intensified sectarian strife that has spilled over from the civil war in neighbouring Syria where President Bashar al-Assad, from the minority Alawite sect, is facing a largely Sunni-led insurgency against his rule.
Syria had a military presence in Lebanon for 29 years before pulling out in 2005, during which it made allies from different Lebanese sects. But with growing sectarian tension, only a few Lebanese Sunni Muslims remain loyal to Damascus.
Sheikh Hesham Minkara, another pro-Syrian government Sunni cleric, was charged with withholding information from investigators. (Reporting By Stephen Kalin; Editing by Janet Lawrence)