Beirut bombings toll rises to 11

February 21, 2014 - 12:44:17 pm

BEIRUT: The toll in the double suicide car bombing outside an Iranian cultural centre in Beirut has risen to 11, Lebanon's official news agency said on Friday.

The National News Agency said an Ethiopian woman wounded in Wednesday's attacks had died in a Beirut hospital.

Two as yet unidentified suicide bombers carried out the attack, which was claimed by the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a jihadist group inspired by Al-Qaeda.

The cultural centre is located in the same neighbourhood as the Iranian embassy, which was hit by a double bombing in November that killed 25 people and was also claimed by the Azzam Brigades.

The group said Wednesday's attack was to punish Lebanon's powerful Iran-backed Shiite group Hezbollah and Tehran for their role in the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

Both Hezbollah and Iran back Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, who is battling a Sunni-led uprising.

Extremist groups have claimed responsibility for a series of attacks against areas of Lebanon considered strongholds of Hezbollah that have killed dozens of civilians.

Syria's interior ministry said late Thursday, quoted by state news agency SANA, that it was willing to "cooperate with the Lebanese interior ministry in the fight against terrorism."

It was ready to "provide all possible means to prevent terrorist attacks that target the security and safety of the brotherly Syrian and Lebanese people."

Syria's government refers to all those seeking its overthrow as "terrorists". (AFP)