World Bulletin / News Desk
Two explosions targeting the Iranian embassy hit the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday killing 23 people and damaging buildings around the embassy compound, medical sources and witnesses said.
It was not immediately clear whether the ambassador or any diplomatic staff were among the victims of the explosions, which took place within minutes of each other. Embassy officials would not comment to Reuters when reached by phone.
Lebanese television stations said at 100 people were wounded, but they quoted Iranian diplomatic sources saying none of their staff inside the embassy was hurt.
"At one entrance of the Iranian embassy I counted six bodies outside. I saw body parts around and thrown two streets away," Reuters television cameraman Issam Abdullah said from the scene.
"There is huge damage, it looks like it is a car bomb. One car is twisted there. There were two Mercedes cars badly damaged," he added.
A security source earlier said the blasts were caused by two rockets fired on the area, in the southern part of the city, but a second security source said one was a car bomb explosion.
There was no word on who was behind the blasts but Hezbollah official Ali Ammar said it would not deter the group, known by its supporters as the "resistance".
"Whoever did this is a monstrous terrorist...The resistance message is that it will continue. It will continue in all its efforts to defeat Israel and defeat the terrorists"
Southern Beirut is known as a Hezbollah stronghold and was hit by at least three other explosions this year. Those attacks were blamed on groups linked to the Syrian rebels, believed to be in retaliation for its involvement in Syria's civil war.Last Mod: 19 Kasım 2013, 13:04