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Car bomb strikes Beirut - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A firefighter stands after extinguishing fire from vehicles at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburb neighbourhood of Bir al-Abed on July 9, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/STR)

A firefighter stands after extinguishing fire from vehicles at the site of an explosion in Beirut’s southern suburb neighbourhood of Bir Al-Abed on July 9, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/STR)

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat—A car bomb exploded in Beirut’s Bir Al-Abed district on Tuesday, killing one person and wounding several more, according to Lebanese security sources.

Local television footage showed vehicles ablaze and clouds of black smoke hovering above the southern suburb of Beirut, a Hezbollah-dominated area of the capital. According to the Lebanese Daily Star newspaper, residents were urged to clear the area in fear of a second explosion.

The situation in Lebanon has been tense since the beginning of the Syrian conflict and was further intensified when Hezbollah openly announced their support for Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad. Hezbollah MP Ali Ammar told the Daily Star that Bir Al-Abed was targeted for its obvious support for the Shi’a group and believes the incident “bears the fingerprint of the Israeli enemy and its tools.”

Sources confirmed that a parking lot employee died from his wounds, while the head of Bahman Hospital, Ali Karim, confirmed to local Arabic newspaper Annahar the arrival of 18 wounded, most of whom were women and children. The total number of wounded is believed to be 34, according to the Lebanese Red Cross.

According to the Daily Star, interior minister Marwan Charbel described the blast as an “act of sabotage” aimed at creating sectarian strife in the country. The blast is the second attack on a Hezbollah stronghold following a twin rocket attack in the southern suburb of Shiyah in May that wounded four.

Officials say it is still too soon to speculate who is behind the attack.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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