Suicide bombings in Beirut claim 43 lives

Suicide bombings in Beirut claim 43 lives

-NRN/Reuters

The death toll from two suicide bombings in Lebanon overnight has risen to 43, while more than 240 others have been injured.

The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred in a Hezbollah strong hold in Southern Beirut.

Its the first attack to target Beirut’s southern suburbs since June 2014, with Hezbollah describing the incident an atrocity.

The blasts occurred almost simultaneously late on Thursday and struck a Shi’ite community centre and a nearby bakery in the commercial and residential area of Borj al-Barajneh, security sources said.

Menawhile Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said a third suicide bomber had been killed by one of the explosions before he could detonated his own bomb. His body was found nearby.

The Islamic State said in a statement posted online by its supporters that its members blew up a bike loaded with explosives in Borj al-Barajneh and that when onlookers gathered, a suicide bomber blew himself up among them.

Hezbollah vowed to continue its fight against “terrorists”, warning of a “long war” against its enemies.

It was a blow to Hezbollah’s tight security measures in the area, which were strengthened following bombings last year.

The army had also set up checkpoints around the southern suburb entrances.

It comes as Hezbollah has been fighting alongside the Assad government in the Syrian civil war, with the Islamic State militants key targets in the battle.

Government forces backed by Hezbollah and Iranian troops have intensified their fight against mostly Sunni insurgents, including Islamic State, since Russia launched an air campaign in support of Assad on Sept. 30.

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Amy Whittaker
Amy Whittaker 1402 posts

Amy joined the NRN team in August 2011, before graduating from a B of Arts (Communication-Journalism)/B of Sports Studies from Charles Sturt University in December 2011.

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