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Powerful blast hits south Beirut: witness - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Smoke rises behind building from the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs on August 15, 2013. (REUTERS/Mahmoud)

Smoke rises behind building from the site of an explosion in Beirut’s southern suburbs on August 15, 2013. (REUTERS/Mahmoud)

Beirut, Reuters—At least one person was killed and more than 11 people were wounded when a powerful explosion struck southern Beirut near a complex used by Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah on Thursday, a Reuters witness at the scene said.

He said at least five nearby buildings were damaged and many cars in the area were destroyed. The blast sent a column of black smoke over the densely populated area in the south of the Lebanese capital.

The explosion came a month after a huge car bomb wounded 53 people in the same district, a stronghold of Hezbollah, which has been fighting alongside President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces in Syria’s civil war.

Several minutes after Thursday’s blast, live television footage showed fires still burning in the street where the explosion took place. The facades of neighboring residential buildings were also badly damaged.

Al-Mayadeen television said some people were still trapped inside buildings at the scene, close to the Sayyed Al-Shuhadaa (Martyrs) complex, where Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah often addresses his followers.

Sectarian tensions have been high in Lebanon following the intervention of Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah in support of Assad against a two-year revolt led by Syria’s Sunni Muslim majority. Hezbollah also fought a month-long war with Israel in 2006.

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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