News / Middle East

Bomb Blast Rocks South Beirut

Bomb Blast Rocks South Beiruti
X
January 03, 2014 8:40 AM
An apparent car bomb blast in Beirut's mostly Shiite southern suburbs has left several casualties, according to various media reports.
Bomb Blast Rocks South Beirut
Edward Yeranian
An apparent car bomb blast in Beirut's mostly Shiite southern suburbs has left several casualties, according to various media reports.

Ambulances rushed to the scene of the blast in the mostly Shiite suburb of Haret Hreik, as rescue workers and young men searched for victims amid the rubble. The force of the blast tore through vehicles and store-fronts, leaving charred wreckage and twisted metal.

Hezbollah's Al-Manar television reported that the explosion took place 200 meters from a political office belonging to the group, but denied that any top official had been targeted by the blast.

Recent explosions in BeirutRecent explosions in Beirut
x
Recent explosions in Beirut
Recent explosions in Beirut
There were conflicting death tolls. Reuters news agency reported at least three deaths and about 20 injuries. The French news agency said five people died and at least 20 were wounded. Officials said there were assessing the tolls.

Later Thursday, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the U.S. State Department condemned the attack.  The United States also called on all parties to "refrain from retaliatory acts."

The city has been recently been hit by attacks linked to heightened Sunni-Shiite tensions over the Syrian war.

Interim Health Minister Ali Hassan al Khalil told journalists at the scene of the blast that health officials were attempting to cope with the latest explosion to hit Beirut.

He said that what took place is part of a big battle against terrorism that affects everyone in the country, because it seeks to create sectarian strife. He called for national unity to deal with the situation.

  • A man carries an injured woman away from the site of a car bomb explosion in a southern suburb of Beirut, Jan. 2, 2014.
  • Lebanese citizens gather at the site of a car bomb explosion in a southern suburb of Beirut, Jan. 2, 2014.
  • A firefighter extinguishes a fire at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, Jan. 2, 2014.
  • A man extinguishes burned cars at the site of a car bomb explosion in a southern suburb of Beirut, Jan. 2, 2014.
  • Women who left their destroyed home cry out after a car bomb explosion in a southern suburb of Beirut, Jan. 2, 2014.

Anger erupts

Angry residents of the neighborhood chanted as the minister tried to speak, interrupting him several times. Khalil said he could not clarify if a suicide-bomber had been behind the explosion but stressed that the “large crater from the blast leaves people asking that question.”

The director of the nearby Bahman Hospital, Ali Karim, told reporters that over thirty casualties had been taken to his hospital, including three dead.

He said that women and children were among the casualties and that many victims were suffering from head wounds and shrapnel. He said casualties were also taken to three other local hospitals. Their figures were not immediately available.

Lebanon's National News Agency reported that that Military Judge Saqr Saqr had put the Lebanese Army military police and military intelligence in charge of investigating the cause of the explosion.

The explosion comes less than a week after former Lebanese finance minister Mohamad Chatah, a harsh critic of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was killed in a massive car bombing in central Beirut. Chatah was a close political adviser to former prime minister Sa'ad al Hariri, a Sunni.

A suicide bombing killed and wounded dozens in front of the Iranian Embassy in November. A Sunni extremist group claimed responsibility for that blast.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
January 03, 2014 10:11 AM
2. In 2006 when they murdered Rafiq Hariri, his son Saad Hariri took over the prime minister's office in his stead. Quite as he knew where his trouble was coming from and truly made some comment regarding bringing the perpetrators to book - which I knew he did not have the power to do, hence Hezbollah and Syria's Assad were disproportionately more powerful than the army at his disposal - he started to play to the gallery by making references to Israel that were only aimed at buying cheap popularity and maybe somehow assuage the Hezbollah fighters, terrorists and hit squad from quickly taking him out. His game was somewhat ambiguous here.
But that did not save him as it was just a matter of time and Hezbollah pulled him down from the pinnacle. Today all Arabs and islamists all over the world know what the trouble in the Middle East is and yet continue to pursue shadows - because no one can speak the truth or he be guilty of blasphemy. If they do not preach the jihad and religion of hate against their neighbors; if they say make peace with Israel; if they try to recognize Israel's right to statehood in the Middle East - that is blasphemy. If they do not know how to settle their difference because any attempt to correct an error in the book is regarded as blasphemy, how can they live in peace?

Now that it has become clearer that it is a question of practice not of principle, can a man of peace arise in the region – a wise man from the east – and correct those errors established in HATE so that peoples of the region can live in peace with themselves and with others? 2014 should see the errors of the past relegated to the past so that peace can move forward. The trouble in the whole world has root in the Middle East. Some say it is because of the issue between Israel and Palestine, but we know better than that – it is for the HATRED between shi'ite and sunni islam. Others are normal labor matters of which the Middle East region has its fair share thereof too.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez 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 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 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 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.

VOA Blogs