Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lebanon: Huge blast in Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut, at least 20 killed, 200 wounded

(Al Jazeera) A car bomb explosion has killed at least 20 people in Beirut's southern suburbs, according to the Lebanese Interior Ministry.

The explosion struck near a complex used by Hezbollah, the Shia political party and armed group that in recent months has become increasingly and more publicly involved in the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

At least 200 people were injured in the blast, which occurred between the Bir el-Abed and Roueiss neighbourhoods on Thursday.

The blast put buildings and cars on fire and sent a column of black smoke over the densely populated area.

Hezbollah's television channel showed firemen helping residents trapped in their homes escape the flames, as well as a crowd of people in panic and rage, gathered near the site of the explosion.

"Terrorism has struck the southern suburbs again," said Al-Manar's television presenter, adding that Hezbollah was "paying the price for its position".