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

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs