According to the local media, targeting the Iranian Cultural Centre in a busy Beirut suburb, there was a twin suicide car bombing on Wednesday killing at least seven people and wounded 128 others.
The role of al-Qaeda is confirmed in this incident as al-Qaeda -linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the deadly explosions, describing the attacks as a “raid” against the centre in retaliation to Hezbollah and Tehran’s role in the Syrian war.
The same group also claimed the Nov. 19 twin suicide attack outside the Iranian Embassy that killed dozens, including an Iranian diplomat.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham strongly condemned the terrorist act by stating that “there is no doubt that the perpetrators of the terrorist act are the enemies of stability, security and unity of Labanon and are the Zionist regime’s allies”.
She said that they are disappointed by the formation of the new Lebanese government with the participation of Lebanese groups.
The blasts, which occurred at 9:25 a.m. during rush hour, are the second attack in less than four months targeting Iranian interests in Bir Hasan. The commercial and residential neighbourhood is home to the Iranian and Kuwaiti embassies and several television stations.
Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces cordoned off the area, and emergency medical personnel were already on the scene, the NNA added. Newly minted Interior Minister Nuhad al-Mashnuq was also on the scene.
Ambulances and Civil Defense trucks rushed to the scene of the explosion which was powerful enough to be felt several kilometers away.
The twin attack killed seven people, including a soldier and the two suicide bombers and several wounded were in critical condition.
Tawhid party, headed by Wiam Wahhab, said one of the victims of the blasts was a member of the group identified as Hamzi Sobh.
Al-Manar Television reported that the soldier grew suspicious of one of the bombers inside the vehicle and stopped him. The bomber then blew up the car.
The Lebanese Army urged citizens whose relatives went missing in the attack to head to Al-Rasoul Al-Azam Hospital to undergo DNA tests in order to identify human remains found on the site.
The military said the “simultaneous attacks” were caused by two vehicles that exploded seconds apart: a Mercedes exploded outside the Iranian Cultural Center while a BMW blew up near the European exhibition centre. Meanwhile, the deadly twin car bomb drew national and international condemnation.