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Blasts Kill 23 Near Iranian Embassy in Lebanon

Two explosions near the Iranian embassy in Lebanon's capital have killed at least 23 people, including an Iranian cultural advisor.

Officials said they believe the blasts Tuesday in southern Beirut were caused by a suicide bomber followed shortly by a car bomb.

Lebanon's health minister Ali Hassan Khalil said the explosions also wounded 146 people in what he called a terrorist attack.



"This can be fully described as a terrorist act, it is a criminal and a condemned act which targeted the lives of civilians, it is just one of the terrorism acts that have been hitting the region which Lebanon is part of."



The blasts rocked an area of Beirut that is a stronghold of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, and where at least two other bombing attacks have hit this year.

Hezbollah has been helping to fight rebels in neighboring Syria, which is one of the group's main backers along with Iran.

The bombs Tuesday caused extensive damage to buildings in the area, including the embassy compound.

Lebanese television broadcast images of a line of flaming and charred vehicles along with piles of debris in the street.

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