Terror strikes south Beirut

Two explosions ripped through the Bourj al-Barajneh quarter of Lebanon's capital.

Thursday blast site. (Twitter)
Bourj al-Barajneh blasts. (NNA)

BEIRUT - Twin blasts ripped through a crowded quarter of Beirut's southern Dahiyeh suburbs on Thursday evening, leaving at least 43 people dead in the bloodiest terror attack to hit Lebanon's capital since the end of the civil war in 1990.


Shorly before 6 p.m. two suicide bombers walking through the Bourj al-Barajneh area detonated their explosive vests, less than a day after the Internal Security Forces apprehended a man with a suicide belt in north Lebanon's Tripoli.


The blasts, which were staggered by approximately five minutes, took place meters apart in the neighborhood's Ain al-Sikkeh street.


The moment the second suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt. (OTV) 


Scenes of bloody carnage and chaos descended over the normally bustling mixed residential and commerical district, as locals rushed to help the wounded while Lebanon's Red Cross raced to the scene and security forces tried to impose a cordon around the blast sites.


At least 43 people were killed and over 239 others injured in the explosions, the first to rock Lebanon's capital since a suicide bomber detonated himself in a Beirut seafront hotel on June 27, 2014.


The damage could have been even worse, as a third would-be suicide bomber was killed before he managed to detonate his explosives.


Suicide bomber

Image purporting to show the third would-be suicide bomber. (Al-Jadeed)


Hours after the blast an alleged ISIS claim of responsibility for the attack circulated social media, saying that 40 "rafideen"--a pejorative term for Shiite Muslims used by Sunni Islamists--were killed in the "security operation."


Timeline of Thursday's events: 

[22:33] Lebanon's Health Ministry says 43 killed, 239 injured in twin blasts.


[21:44] Abdullah Azzam Brigades spokesperson Sirajeddine Zureiqat wrote on Twitter that "Dahiyeh will be covered in blood as long as it sends murderers and criminals to Syria."


Less than a month ago, Zureiqat's terror group warned that it was still active in Lebanon.


His comments, however, fell short of a claim of responsibility for Thursday's twin blasts.


[21:40] Hezbollah security official Hussein Yaghi was killed in today's bombing, MTV television reported.

[21:20] A video purports to show the arrest of a fourth would-be suicide bomber in Bourj al-Barajneh.


Video via Al-Jadeed TV.

[21:10] An alleged ISIS claim of responsibility for the Beirut blasts has circulated on social media.


The statement says that at least 40 "rafideen"--a pejorative term for Shiite Muslims used by Sunni Islamists--have been killed in an attack on what it termed a Hezbollah "stronghold."



Purported ISIS statement.

[20:58] Hezbollah chief Nasrallah's advisor Hajj Hussein Khalil has arrived at scene of blasts, where he addressed the press.


"We do not rule out ISIS or [fellow groups] claiming responsibility for this operation," the Hezbollah official said.


[20:48] An image purporting to show the third suicide bomber who failed to detonate himself Thursday.


Suicide bomber

Image via Al-Jadeed TV.


[20:43] A video shows the moment a second explosion ripped through Beirut's Bourj al-Barajneh.


Video via OTV.


[20:21] Health Minister Wael Abu Faour revealed during a press conference at the site of the blasts that a third suicide bomber had failed to detonate his explosive belt.


"I fear we will return to a period of explosions," the minister said in reference to the 2013 to 2014 terror wave in Lebanon. 


Abu Faour finished his statements with a call for Lebanon's leaders to reach a comprehensive agreement to resolve the political impasse in the country.


[20:20] Lebanon's premier has declared Friday a day of national mourning. The NNA earlier reported that public institutions were ordered closed, however the state news agency clarified later that state institutions would be open as normal.


[20:10] Lebanese Premier Tammam Salam has condemned the twin blasts, calling them a "cowardly and criminal act" while urging the country's citizens to unite in the face of strife.


Other top politicians have all denounced the attacks, the worst to hit the capital since the end of the 1975-1990 Civil War. Lebanese MPs had been meeting in the parliament to discuss a number of pressing issues. Speaker Nabih Berri, however, adjourned the session after holding a minute of silence for the victims of today's attacks.

[19:35] Red Cross: Death toll rises to 37, while 181 others have been injured.


[19:28] Hospitals in south Beirut have appealed for blood donations as the injured are rushed for care following the twin blasts.


[19:22] Onlookers are still gathered outside the blast sites as Lebanon's ISF has issued an official statement appealing for residents to stay away from the site for their own safety and to ease the passage of emergency ambulances.


[19:15] Death toll of the suicide bombing has risen to 23, with over 100 injured.

[19:07] A third would-be suicide bomber was shot before detonating himself, local media reported. Al-Mayadeen showed footage of what purported to be the third assailant.


Meanwhile, LBC television said there were reports a fourth suicide bomber had run away, but it must be cautioned the report remains unconfirmed.


[19:02] Military Judge Saqr Saqr has assigned the military police and Lebanese Army intelligence to investigate the blasts.


[18:52] The death toll in Thursday's Bourj al-Barajneh has risen to 16 people, Lebanon's Red Cross director George Kettaneh told the NNA. He added that at least 40 people have been injured.


[18:44] Bodies are being rushed to local hospitals amid scenes of absolute carnage in southern Beirut. The attack today is the first to hit Lebanon's capital since June 27, 2014, when a suicide bomber detonated himself as security forces rushed his Beirut hotel room.


[18:35] Al-Jadeed reports that two suicide bombers on foot detonated themselves outside the General Security office in Bourj al-Barajneh. Early reports of the blast have varied, with no specific target being determined yet.


[18:30] Lebanese security forces have imposed a cordon around the area, and asked civilians not to approach.


[18:20] LBC reported that two suicide bombers had detonated their explosives at the Imam al-Hussein Mosque in Bourj al-Barajneh.


[18:10] Lebanon's National News Agency and local media outlets report casualties after the blasts ripped through a crowded quarter.


[18:00] Two explosions have been heard in southern Beirut's Bourj al-Barajneh quarter, media reports say.

Crowd gathers at the site of Thursday's twin suicide bombing. (Twitter)

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    Blod in, Blod out. Hezboolla kill in Syria, takfires kill in Lebanon. Nashalla is a persian slave, just do what Iran order him. He will bring more takfires to Lebanon. And some idiots, guilt Israel for muslim kill muslim. Israel want peace whit Lebanon. Nashalla forbid Lebanon to do this and bring the war from Syria.

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