Twin explosions, possibly carried out by suicide bombers, rocked a southern neighborhood of Beirut on Thursday that is controlled by the Hezbollah militia, killing at least 23 people and wounding dozens. The blasts were the most damaging in Beirut in two years.
Al-Manar news website, controlled by Hezbollah, said the explosions were in the Bourj al-Barajneh neighborhood. It said the explosions “were synchronous and claimed a number of martyrs and injured.”
The Lebanese Red Cross reported that 23 people were killed in the explosions and that a hundred were wounded.
Other Lebanese news accounts said it appeared that the blasts were suicide bombings and that an explosives belt worn by one of the assailants had not completely detonated.
Since the civil war erupted in Syria, Beirut has been subjected to bombings and other attacks carried out in the name of rival Syrian factions. Hezbollah, an influential political power in Lebanon that is regarded by Israel and the United States as a terrorist organization, is a major supporter of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, as is Iran, an ally of Hezbollah.
A double bombing last year near an Iranian cultural center in the Hezbollah’s enclave, killed at least five people and wounded dozens. An offshoot of Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for that attack and said it would carry out more bombings against Hezbollah until the group withdrew its fighters from Syria.