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
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    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.

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    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.

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