At least two people killed in latest car bomb attack
At least two people were killed when a car bomb ripped through a Shiite neighbourhood in southern Beirut today in the latest attack targeting supporters of the militant Hezbollah group in Lebanon.
A series of attacks have hit Lebanon recently as Syria's civil war spills over into its smaller neighbour, targeting the country's Sunni and Shiite communities. It has further stoked sectarian tensions that are already running high as each Lebanese community lines up with its brethren in Syria on opposing sides of the war.
Thousands of people flocked to the Haret Hreik district of Beirut after the explosion, according to footage broadcast by the Hezbollah-owned al-Manar television station.
The footage showed flames furiously engulfing one building, as medics hauled a man away on a stretcher.
Lebanese Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said a man and woman were killed, and 26 people were taken to hospital with injuries from the blast.
Lebanon's official media said a suicide bomber in a vehicle was behind the attack.
A series of similar attacks have targeted Shiite areas in Lebanon in recent months in retaliation for the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group fighting in Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad's troops.
Most recently, last Thursday, a car bomb struck the north-eastern town of Hermel close to the Syrian border during rush-hour, killing at least three people and wounding more than 20.
And on January 2, a bombing took place just yards from where today's attack occurred, killing five people.
Other attacks have targeted Lebanon's Sunni community, including a December car bombing in Beirut that killed prominent Sunni politician Mohammed Chatah.