At least 37 killed in twin suicide bombing in Beirut

Residents, Lebanese army and Civil Defense members inspect a damaged area. Image Credit: Reuters

Beirut: A twin suicide bombing struck the southern suburb of the Lebanese capital Beirut has killed at least 37 people, local media said.

A Red Cross official was quoted Lebanese TV channels 37 people have been killed when two suicide bombing struck the Burj Al Barajneh area, a stronghold of the militant group Hezbollah, on Thursday evening.

Al Jadeed TV quoted a health official as saying 181 have been injured in the two attacks which hit the Mosque road in the neighborhood.

“A third suicide bomber failed to detonate his explosive belt but managed to escape. He is at large and we are looking for him,” the channel quoted police sources as saying.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings.

Southern Beirut is a stronghold of Hezbollah that is fighting in Syria along with government forces there.

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Residents inspect a damaged area caused by two explosions in Beirut. Image Credit: Reuters

Threats

The area has been hit in the past. Militant groups that fight the Syrian regime of Bashar Al Assad have threatened to carry out more such attacks.

The explosions happened around 6:00 pm (1600 GMT), witnesses said.

An AFP photographer saw extensive damage to buildings around the site of the blast and bodies inside some of the nearby shops.

There was blood on the streets, and security forces were trying to cordon off the scene and keep people from gathering.

The blast is the first to target Beirut’s southern suburbs since June 2014, when a suicide car bomb killed a security officer who had tried to stop the bomber.

Residents inspect a damaged area caused by two explosions in Beirut, November 12, 2015. Image Credit: Reuters

But prior to that, a string of attacks targeted Hezbollah strongholds throughout the country.

Between July 2013 and February 2014, there were nine attacks on Hezbollah bastions, most claimed by Sunni extremists.

The groups claimed the attacks were in revenge for Hezbollah’s decision to send thousands of fighters into neighbouring Syria to support President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces against the uprising.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

The southern suburb of Beirut is a stronghold of the militant Hezbollah group and has been hit by several bombings in the past that have killed dozens.

Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV said there were two explosions, about seven minutes apart, in the suburb’s area of Burj Al Barajneh.

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