Explosions, likely from twin suicide bombings, cause extensive damage outside Iran mission in Lebanese capital; al-Qaeda-linked group claims responsibility
(SOURCE) At least two explosions were reported Tuesday morning near the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.
The Lebanese Health Ministry reported that at least 23 people were killed and 146 injured in the blast. The Iranian ambassador confirmed reports that an Iranian cultural attache was critically injured in the explosion and later died from his wounds.
“People aren’t sacred anymore. We aren’t safe,” said a mechanic whose store windows were shattered by the blasts. He declined to be identified because he did not want to be seen as involved in sectarian tensions that have split the Lebanese over Syria’s conflict.
“People fight outside (Lebanon), but send their messages through Lebanon. With bombs. It’s their SMS service,” he added.
Abadi blamed Israel, but the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a group linked to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the blast, according to Reuters.
At least six buildings in the embassy compound were damaged in the blasts.
Lebanon’s state news agency said a preliminary investigation showed that the first blast was set off by a suicide bomber and the second explosion a car bomb that went off once people arrived on the scene to help.
Initial reports had indicated a rocket attack might have been behind the blasts.