News / Middle East

Bombs Near Iranian Embassy in Lebanon Kill 23

Soldiers, policemen and medical personnel gather at the site of explosions near the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Nov. 19, 2013.
Soldiers, policemen and medical personnel gather at the site of explosions near the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Nov. 19, 2013.
Elizabeth Arrott
Officials in Lebanon say at least 23 people were killed and more than 140 wounded in two bomb blasts Tuesday near the Iranian embassy in Beirut. An Iranian diplomat was among those killed.

It was a scene of devastation in south Beirut when two explosions, one after the other, left victims lying shattered on the ground, and the area in and around the Iranian embassy blackened by the blasts.
 
Lebanese authorities say a suicide bomber and a car bomb were the source of the destruction in the Bir Hassan neighborhood. Lebanon's Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil called it a terrorist attack.

Iranian embassy, BeirutIranian embassy, Beirut
x
Iranian embassy, Beirut
Iranian embassy, Beirut
An al-Qaida-linked group called the Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the bombings, and threatened further attacks unless Iran pulled its forces out of Syria.

Tehran is the major regional backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a member of the Alawaite sect derived from Shi'ite Islam. Iran also supports Lebanon's political and militant Shi'ite group Hezbollah.  

The area of the bombings is a Hezbollah stronghold, and was hit by several attacks in July and Auust.  
 
Political science professor Karim Makdisi of the American University in Beirut believes Tuesday's explosions and those of recent months are part of the same problem. “There is no way that these car bombs situations are going to be resolved unless or until there is a settlement in Syria,” said Makdisi.
 
Hezbollah has sent fighters to battle alongside Syrian government troops, raising tensions with Lebanese Sunnis, many of whom support Syria's largely Sunni-led opposition.
 
Syria's civil war began as a broad-based civilian protest of the Assad government, but has deteriorated into a largely sectarian conflict, with Sunni jihadist fighters coming from abroad to join, and sometimes lead, rebel groups.
 
Spillover from the conflict has raised fears Lebanon could revert to the sectarian civil war that devastated the country in the 1970's and 80's.
 
Professor Makdisi is hopeful, however, that will not happen. “Everything is a possibility, you know, but Lebanon has been on the brink for the past two, three years because of the Syria war and it has not collapsed yet.”
 
He argued that most of Lebanon's leaders feel there is no point in engaging in sectarian violence, adding he doesn't think anything like that will happen “for the time being.”

  • Soldiers, policemen and medical personnel gather at the site of explosions near the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Nov. 19, 2013.
  • A man carries an injured domestic worker after explosions near the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Nov. 19, 2013.
  • Two men remove a dead body from a burned car, after explosions near the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Nov. 19, 2013.
  • Lebanese army soldiers help an injured man after two explosions near the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Nov. 19, 2013.
  • A man walks near burning cars at the site of explosions near the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Nov 19, 2013.
  • Two men react in front of burned cars after explosions near the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Nov. 19, 2013.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 20, 2013 10:43 AM
It happens close to Iran and exposes Hezbollah's underground system. I saw a very big gaping ditch in one of the areas the bomb struck thereby understanding that Lebanese, especially Hezbollah operatives, live underground like African rats. No wonder it took Israel plenty of time to dig them out in the last war. But a typhoon, a tornado or a hurricane can surmount the area so that they become underground water tanks. Israel should learn what to do with every inch of the borderline to dig them out or smoke them inside. Underground bunkers in South Lebanon, tunnels in Gaza. These people are serious about preparation for another war.

by: Anonymous
November 19, 2013 4:30 PM
This attack by Al-Qaida against the Iranian interest shows that U.S. and Iran share mutual interest and have a common enemy.
In Response

by: Melisa Han from: USA
November 20, 2013 9:42 AM
Yes... American and Iran have a lot of mutual interests... like the slaughter of all Sunnis... the destruction of Saudi Arabia and all the Gulf Arab States... like the destruction of Israel... the promotion of Shiia Islam in the world... the subjugation of women... the slaughter of all gays... the promotion of the "Supreme Leader" from controlling the filth of iran to the control of the world... yes, I wonder why i didn't see it before... yes, we have a lot in common... go bend over you ugly Iranian

by: Sunny Enwerem from: Nigeria
November 19, 2013 12:44 PM
Karma never loses an address, simply finding its way back to who every played such part ,what Iran is failing to understand is that soon Karma will play out inside Iran after the embassies.

by: sunday superior from: nigeria
November 19, 2013 10:51 AM
The ploriferation of wmd and the incessant terrorism in d world is a pointer dat we should expect the third world war sooner than latter which will usher in the end of the world.........so help us God

by: Samantha from: USA
November 19, 2013 8:20 AM
if you have to be honest - you know that confrontation with Iran is inevitable. They may cut deals with the "UN security council"... the Europeans may look the other way... the US just want to be lied to... but ultimately Iran is going to war... whether with nuclear weapons or without them - is up to US
In Response

by: Ye Kyaw Swa from: Yangon,Burma
November 19, 2013 10:54 AM
Yes,that's right. The war is imminent and inevitable. American democrats are wavering and hesitant only because of their ideology weaknesses.The republicans should lead both America and the entire world.Carter,Clinton,Obama and John Kerry,all are utopian socialists, and they don't really understand what is the real meaning of Peace and War.

by: Hasham Tiqriti from: Lebanon
November 19, 2013 8:02 AM
the smell of petrodollars could be smelled for miles... now, Saudi Arabia has taken the offensive against Iran. Iran has completely undermined the sovereignty of Lebanon... subverted Iraq... in the process of consuming Syria and the Gulf Arab States... and now, Saudi Arabia has had enough - going on the offensive...!!!
In Response

by: Monica from: London
November 19, 2013 3:48 PM
i wish them all the luck. it is about time someone had put a stop the the Iranian malignancy.

by: rob from: texas
November 19, 2013 7:19 AM
Finally Iran gets to see what it is like to be on the receiving end of terrorist attacks. Sorry I won't shed a tear for them.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs