Suicide bombs hit Iranian cultural centre in Beirut

February 20, 2014 - 4:40:53 am

BEIRUT: Two suicide car bombs targeted an Iranian cultural centre in Beirut yesterday, killing six people in the latest attack linked to the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

The attack was quickly claimed by the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a jihadist group inspired by Al Qaeda that previously claimed a double suicide bombing aimed at Iran’s embassy in Beirut.

Jihadists have carried out a string of attacks in Lebanon targeting both Iran and the powerful Shia movement Hezbollah, which provide vital support to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s regime as it battles a Sunni-led rebellion.

The health ministry said six people were killed and 129 wounded, with the army saying one of the cars was loaded with 90 kilos of explosives and the other with 75 kilos.

According to official media, a policeman was among the dead.

The blasts in the capital’s southern district of Bir Hassan sent a large plume of smoke over the area and caused widespread damage.

The Abdullah Azzam Brigades, an Al Qaeda-inspired group, claimed the “double martyrdom operation” on Twitter and pledged to continue its attacks against Iran and “its party” -- a reference to Hezbollah.

“We will continue... to target Iran and its party in Lebanon, in its security and political and military centres, until our demands are achieved,” the group said.


See also page 11