ADVERTISEMENT

Lebanon: car bomb rocks Hezbollah stronghold as Ramadan begins

Lebanon: car bomb rocks Hezbollah stronghold as Ramadan begins
Copyright 
By Euronews
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
ADVERTISEMENT

A car bomb has exploded in a Hezbollah-controlled suburb of the Lebanese capital Beirut, wounding at least 18 people.

It happened in a car park in a busy shopping area of the Bir al-Abed district – as Lebanese Shi’ites prepared for the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

There are fears that several people have been killed by the powerful blast, but initial reports of fatalities have not been confirmed by the authorities.

No one has claimed responsibility for the bomb. Ali Ammar, a Hezbollah deputy in Lebanon’s parliament told local journalists that Israel is likely to blame: “This is the work of agents trying to create strife in Lebanon.”

Long-running sectarian tensions in Lebanon have been escalating, partly due to the conflict in neighbouring Syria. Hezbollah has intervened there, sending troops to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

The area where the blast occured is also home to many Hezbollah political offices. Shopping areas would likely have been full on Tuesday, the day before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins.

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel called it “a criminal act aimed at destabilising the country and creating Sunni-Shi’ite sectarian strife”.

The attack is the second strike to hit Shi’ite southern Beirut this year.

Two rockets hit the area in May and Lebanese security forces have disarmed several rockets near Beirut in recent months as well.

It was unclear who was behind Tuesday’s blast or May’s attack.

With Reuters

  • Lebanon: Beirut bomb blast

Anadolu agency 09/07/2013

The first pictures of #Beirut southern suburb explosion pic.twitter.com/8jHJRUa3X8

— Ali Hashem علي هاشم (@alihashem_tv) July 9, 2013

Photo: Smoke rising after huge explosion was heard in southern suburbs of #Beirut: pic.twitter.com/Vh4KnM6S4y pic via kleitm</a></p>&mdash; Malak (malakyz) July 9, 2013

صورة عن انفجار #الضاحية_الجنوبية ل #بيروت#beirut#explosionpic.twitter.com/hCwKLk5ho3

— Johayna جهينة خالدية (@Johaynah) July 9, 2013

‏أعمدة الدخان تتصاعد في الضاحية الجنوبية ل ‏#بيروت‏ وسيارات الإسعاف تهرع إلى المكان ‎#Beirut‏ ‎#Lebanonpic.twitter.com/vcMzUq86xg

— Ahmad M. Yassine (@Lobnene_Blog) July 9, 2013

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Protests in Beirut as Lebanese capital marks three years since catastrophic port blast

Watch: Search continues over Italian power plant explosion

Officials announce explosion at St Petersburg gas terminal