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NOW

23 dead in blasts outside Beirut's Iran embassy

An Al-Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility for the attack

Beirut blast damage
Beirut blast damage
Firefighter
Bomb damage
Beirut damage
Beirut smoke
Bombings victim
Beirut explosion site. (AFP)
Beirut bombings. (Al-Mayadeen)

BEIRUT - Two explosions rocked southern Beirut Tuesday morning near the Iranian embassy, killing at least 23 people and injuring 146 others.

 

The attack began when a suicide bomber riding a motorbike approached the Iranian embassy and detonated a five kilogram bomb 25 meters away from compound, a security source told NOW.

 

Two minutes later, a second suicide bomber detonated a Chevrolet Trail Blazer SUV packed with approximately 60 kilograms of explosives. 

 

NOW's correspondent reported the Iranian embassy was only "lightly" damaged by the explosions, but an adjacent building was severely damaged as were other nearby ones. 

 

He also said that one of the buildings near the embassy is inhabited by Iranian nationals, raising the possibility that they could be among the blasts' casualties.

 

The Al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack, warning that it would strike again in Lebanon.

“The Abdullah Azzam Brigades… are behind the [attack] on the Iranian embassy in Beirut,” group spokesperson Sirajeddine Zureiqat wrote on Twitter.

“The [attack] was a suicide operation conducted by Lebanese Sunni heroes,” he added.

 

Meanwhile, Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati condemned the explosions and called for an emergency meeting at the Grand Serail.

 

He also called Tehran's envoy to Lebanon, Ghadanfar Roken Abadi, to inquire on the latter's health following the blasts outside the Iranian embassy.

 

Iran's envoy, who was not injured in the attack, later told Al-Mayadeen that Israel was behind the blasts.

 

Abadi also confirmed to Al-Manar television that Iranian cultural attache Ibrahim al-Ansari had been killed in the attack.

 

Meanwhile, Lebanon's state National News Agency reported that three guards at the Iranian embassy had been killed in the blasts.

 

As the death toll continued to mount, Lebanon's Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil announced that 23 people had been killed in the attack and 146 others injured.

 

Hezbollah's Al-Manar added that casualties were being rushed to the nearby Rafiq Hariri University Hospital as well as the Al-Rasul al-Azam and Al-Zahraa hospitals. 

 

Amid the ensuing chaos following the blasts, NOW's correspondent reported a heavy Hezbollah security deployment at the entrances of south Beirut's Dahiyeh.

 

The Tuesday morning attacks also prompted Deputy Speaker Farid Makari to postpone the parliamentary joint committees’ meeting scheduled for later in the afternoon.

A crowd gathers at the site of Tuesday's Beirut blast.

The attack began when a suicide bomber riding a motorbike approached the Iranian embassy and detonated a five kilogram bomb.

  • Hanibaal-Atheos

    Finally, some good news: Terrorism striking at the heart of terrorism. This is precisely why the Americans and the West should not intervene: Instead of Al-Qaeda bombing some western target, it is now targeting another terror network, Iran. Let the scum beat up the scum (خلّي الـ... يطبش بعضو) as we say in Lebanese. Things are looking brighter every day.

    November 19, 2013

  • Bissat

    In case you are unaware, the casualties are humans living their everyday lives. The thing is my love, the scum doesn't beat the scum. There are unfortunate middlemen involved..messengers. I hope you never happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time as these people were. I also hope you leave the country ASAP to your inspirational, beloved West.. leave Lebanon for those who have some minuscule amount of humanity - especially a few hours after the happening. Do take your sense of humour with you.

    November 19, 2013

  • Hanibaal-Atheos

    Happy to see that you got the humor. Fact is, الشماتة is well deserved in this case, even if there is some collateral damage: The pimp Iran, its Lebanese prostitute Hezbollah, and their dicktator protégé Assad have been - over the past 40 years - the cause of hundreds of thousands of dead, injured, and maimed Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, and others that I personally feel a sense of gleeful revenge when I see one of them on the receiving end of the same violence they have perpetrated against my country. So, back to you: I am sorry, but I find your pathetic moronic feelings of human solidarity hilarious. Thank God you are staying in the country, because you may one day understand. Just stay put, get beaten up, and keep trying to stay on the higher moral ground; who knows? The Arab-Islamic League might award you their version of the Nobel Peace Prize .

    November 19, 2013