News / archive

Explosion Kills 4 in Southern Beirut

Civil defence members and civilians put out a fire at the site of an explosion in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Feb. 19, 2014.
Civil defence members and civilians put out a fire at the site of an explosion in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Feb. 19, 2014.
VOA News
Lebanese security officials said a twin suicide bombing hit the Hezbollah-controlled southern suburbs of Beirut on Wednesday during the morning rush hour, killing at least four people and wounding 70.
                   
Wednesday morning’s blasts, which took place near an Iranian cultural center and the Kuwaiti embassy in a stronghold of the Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah, were caused by two suicide attackers, one in a car and the second on a motorcycle according to security sources. The same tactics were used by suicide bombers who attacked the Iranian embassy in November.
                   
A militant group linked to al-Qaida, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attacks on Twitter, saying the Iranian culture center was the target.
 
The windows of a nearby orphanage were blown out by the blasts. Children were peering out and screaming “bomb, bomb.” Some were crying. A man working at a sweet shop opposite the bomb site said the blast shook the entire area.
 
“We heard one explosion and then another,” he said.
 
Human remains were found nearby. The casualties included a number of children.

  • An injured school boy receives treatment inside an ambulance at the site of an explosion near the Iranian cultural centre in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Feb. 19, 2014.
  • Lebanese army investigators gather next to burned and damaged cars at the site of explosions, in the suburb of Beir Hassan, Beirut, Lebanon, Feb. 19, 2014.
  • A Lebanese firefighter extinguishes a burned car at the site of an explosion, near the Kuwaiti Embassy and Iran's cultural center, in the suburb of Beir Hassan, Beirut, Lebanon, Feb. 19, 2014.
  • Lebanese firefighters extinguish a burning car at the site of an explosion near the Kuwaiti Embassy and Iran's cultural center, in the suburb of Beir Hassan, Beirut, Lebanon, Feb. 19, 2014.
  • A Lebanese army soldier carries two injured children away from the site of an explosion near the Kuwaiti Embassy and Iran's cultural center, in the suburb of Beir Hassan, Beirut, Lebanon, Feb. 19, 2014.
  • Lebanese civil defense workers carry an injured girl at the site of an explosion, near the Kuwaiti Embassy and Iran's cultural center, in the suburb of Beir Hassan, Beirut, Lebanon, Feb. 19, 2014.

Radical Sunni Islamists sympathetic to the anti-Assad rebellion have pledged to attack Hezbollah on Lebanese soil for helping Assad, a member of the Alawite offshoot of Shi'ite Islam who is also backed by Shi'ite Islamist Iran.
 
Hezbollah blamed Saudi Arabia, a Sunni power that backs the Syrian opposition, for the November attack on the Iranian embassy, one of a series of car bomb attacks targeting Shi'ite areas in Beirut and eastern Lebanon.
 
Lebanese television showed video of charred and flaming cars at the blast site.

The Lebanese security forces last week arrested a man identified as the al-Qaida-linked mastermind of the recent string of car bomb attacks. The arrest of Naim Abbas was followed by a security sweep that resulted in the seizure of a number of cars rigged with explosives and ready to be deployed.
                   
There have been a number of recent bombings in Lebanon, including a deadly blast earlier this month and two in January that hit Hezbollah-controlled sections of Beirut.

The war has also affected Lebanese politics, leading to paralysis in government. Prime Minister Tammam Salam on Saturday finally managed to form a government grouping rival parties after the country went 11 months without a cabinet.

Some information in this report contributed by Reuters.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs